As we reluctantly say goodbye to summer and welcome fall, many parents find it challenging to come up with new outdoor activities for the kids. Often times, children simply want to collapse on the couch after school and watch cartoons or play on their preferred device. Or, maybe they spend time on the computer for homework. Either way, the last thing your little ones should be doing is remaining stationary! Fall is a wonderful time of year to spend time outside. The days are still warm, and the air is crisp. Here are some ways to get your kids moving this fall.
Implementing a New Routine
The first step to get your kids outside and moving is to start a new routine. For most children, the precious free time after school is spent completing homework, snacking, and relaxing. With a busy schedule it may seem difficult to fit physical activity into your routine. However, establishing an outside routine is easier than you may think!
We recommend adding outside playtime into your child’s schedule as soon as they arrive home from school. This helps the kids to relax and decompress after a busy day. It also provides an opportunity for exercise. Think you’ll be met with resistance? Not to worry! We’ve come up with five exciting outdoor activities for kids to participate in. Rotate through these all year long and your kids will become outside enthusiasts! Not only will they burn off energy, but they will also become experts at entertaining themselves!
Finding the Right Outdoor Activities for the Kids
Suggest these playful activities that provide an opportunity for spending time with friends and getting moving:
- Playing on a Swing Set: Most backyard swing sets provide many activities all in one. In any one of our cedar play sets, the kids choose from climbing the rock wall, using the swings, zipping down the slide and much more. While A-frame swing sets are smaller, they also allow for a few children to play at once. Having a swing set at your home provides children with the opportunity to perfect their athletic skills. It also gives them a chance use their imaginations. Children simply love to pretend the jungle gym and backyard is a pirate ship at sea, or a castle with a moat.
- Playing a Game of Baseball or Soccer: After school can also be a great time for the kids to engage in sports. Suggest a tossing around the baseball, shooting hoops or kicking the soccer ball. If they play on a local sports team, this is a great way to make sure they get practice both on and off the field. Don’t forget about jumping rope and roller skating, too!
- Helping the Family with Chores: If your kids are in the routine of weekly chores and allowance, add a few outdoor jobs to their responsibilities. Chores can include things such weeding and raking leaves. The kids can also as water the flowers as needed. They can even get a head start on the upcoming season and organize winter materials such as shovels and holiday decorations with adult assistance.
- Playing a Game of Tag: When all else fails, kids always enjoy a good old-fashioned game of tag! While the kids take turns being “It” (they can always use Rock-Paper-Scissors to select the first person), they’re running wild hiding and ducking their opponents. They are also actively problem solving and relying on their creativity to avoid being tagged. If your children are tired of playing tag you can suggest other traditional games like Freeze Tag, Mother May I, and Simon Says.
- Exploring the Outdoors: Encourage the kids to explore the yard and neighborhood on foot or by bicycle. Ask them about their time exploring and what types of wildlife surprises they encountered!
Making playtime seem like a fun activity is a great way to encourage kids to spend time outside and get physical activity during this season!