EDITOR’S NOTE: City Dads Group is working with longtime partner Dove Men+Care to create “how to” videos for the grooming products company’s “Dads Care” campaign. We will be featuring the videos and scripts our members appear in. This one features Jason Greene and his son, Corbin, of our NYC Dads Group talking about how to get your children to play outside.
With much of the country social distancing (or they should be), kids have become accustomed to staying inside instead of enjoying the outdoors, even during the summer. And parents, since we’re still trying to work from home and manage the weirdness that is daily life, it has become all too tempting to let them sit comfortably on the couch. It isn’t healthy though.
I have been a stay-at-home dad for 15 years and during that time, I homeschooled for three years. Even while schooling them, I made sure that play outside time was a part of our everyday activity. Not only are you helping them get that all-important vitamin D, but it helps kids with their social skills and increase their imagination.
Here are my three tips for getting kids to play outside:
1. Put it on the schedule
During normal school hours in school, kids have recess or gym class on their schedule. They know while they’re sitting there that there’s going to be a time for them to run around, scream and play.
Also having it on a schedule, reminds you to give them outside time so you just don’t breeze past it.
2. Be an active participant with your the kids
Your children are much more likely to have fun and go outside if they know the parent is going to come with them. Not only are you creating these great memories with them but you are creating a desire in them to want to be outside.
When we go out, we play a lot of games — badminton, catch, HORSE on the basketball hoop. We have a lot of fun together.
3. Plan ahead
On sunny days, you should know you have sunscreen on hand and put it on them. On cold days, dress appropriately. And don’t forget to bring snacks and a water bottle. If your prepared, you’ll probably stay out longer and have more fun.