Some kids love being outdoors and need no convincing to participate in outdoor activities. Others, however, need a little push to realize just how fun outdoor sports, games, and adventures can be. Whatever the age of your kids, it is never too late to turn them into lovers of the outdoors with these tips from The Big Outside.
Trade your stroller for a carrier backpack
Once your toddler is confident walking, give away your stroller and purchase a child-carrier backpack. This makes everywhere from trails to stairs much easier to manage and encourages your child to walk more, while still providing him or her with the opportunity to rest when necessary.
Never push your kids too hard, particularly when you are just getting started. This will help curb negative connotations with spending time outdoors that may be hard to overcome.
Encourage outdoor play
Kids can learn to enjoy the outdoors on their own as well as with the rest of the family. Insist that your kids play outdoors at least a couple times a week and that they participate both in structured play, like sports, and unstructured play, such as imaginative games in the yard or, for older kids, exploring the neighborhood.
Plan trips together
Your kids are even more likely to look forward to any outdoor activity when they have played a part in the planning. Discuss ideas about where to go and what to do together.
Wait until they ask to carry a pack
Carrying a pack increases the physical difficulty of an outing and can take away some of the enjoyment for kids who are not ready for the additional strain. However, as your children get older, they will want to be more like you — they will want to look strong and capable of anything — and will likely ask to help with carrying supplies.
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