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No Screen Summer Idea 3: Out of doors

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Kids and summer and outdoors should go hand in hand but it seems like kids now prefer to remain inside with a screen.  I live in the city and our yard is tiny so I have to get a little creative to inspire our kids to get out there.

Hopefully my tips help you get them outside too.  

You can download the printable list of ideas here.

1.  Just add water

Got a hose?  A sprinkler too?  Even better.  Water balloons?  SCORE!

My kids forget about the fun of water.  If I just say to them "Go play in the sprinkler!"  They look at me like I am so ridiculous.  I can hear their little inner voices, "We are not little kids."  So I have to be a little sneaky. 

  Tell them to go out and water something or wash the car.

  Tell them that they have to do it together.

  Watch.  Give it 5 minutes and someone will get sprayed and laughter will begin

  Open the door and hand them water balloons and a sprinkler and either join in or grab a seat (and adult beverage)     and enjoy the show.

2.  Grow something

Again we are city dwellers, without a ton of space.  Certainly we don't plant an acre of corn or even a big raised garden bed but every year we do plant in pots.  Planters are great because you can move them around to maximize sun or shade and are easy to keep weed free.  Take your kids to a local garden center or farmer's market and let them pick out a couple of plants that they find interesting.  Don't try to be picky.  If they love flowers, let them grow them.  If tomatoes look fun but they have no intention of eating one, that's ok too.  This is about taking care of something outdoors and having fun doing it. 

Don't have a pot or planter?  No problem.  Get creative and use an outgrown boot or old cooking pot.  Anything that will hold soil and a plant will work

The best part is that they will have to go outside each day to water, tend and watch their little gardens grow

3.  Make a fairy garden and keep on adding

Alice came home from school with this fairy garden they made from recycled items and outside "stuff". 

Tell your kids to go outside and gather an little thing that looks intriguing.  Of course instruct them to avoid poisonous plants (why are those in your yard anyway?).   Give them a board or even a flattened box and a bottle of glue and instruct them to create a home for their fairy.  

If you are that special kind of parent who can remember things then it is also fun to add little things while the kids are sleeping so that it appears that the fairies are making it their home.

4.  Bounce that ball

Give them a ball and this list of "to do"

  • Bounce 100 times with each hand without stopping 
  • Toss the ball in the air and catch it without it hitting the ground 50 times
  • Bounce the ball 100 times off the outside wall.  If you miss, start the count all over again
  • Use the inner part of your foot and kick the ball three times in one direction. Turn and do it again

What is the point?  Developing hand and eye coordination while taking on a challenge does all kinds of good things for kiddos

5.  Spikeball 

My son receive this awesome game as a gift last year and I will tell you it is great for all ages.  Jack (12) is a screen kid so when he asks to go outside and play we are always a little shocked.  Spikeball did this for him

Most evenings we can be found outside playing this game.  It's easy to learn, fast to set up and really fun for adults too.  This is one of those rare games that everyone finds entertaining.

Here is their website if you want to check it out for yourself.  I believe they retail for around $50.

Hope this list helps give you some new ideas on getting the kids outside and away from the glowing screen


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