How and Why To Get Kids Outdoors this Summer

Everyone knows that getting outdoors is good for you, but what does that actually mean? 

Even further, what are some easy ways to get everyone (not just the children in the house!) outdoors more often to experience these benefits all summer long? Keep reading to find out!

The Benefits of Going Outside to Work or Play

Did you know that going outside more often is directly linked to better health? According to the National Library of Medicine, the more exposure we have to the ‘greenspace’ (that is, time spent in the outdoors!) the healthier our bodies become. Here’s how: 

How to Encourage Children (and Adults!) to Go Outside More Often

With so much of our lives happening indoors (like school, meals, technology-based activities, and hobbies) it can be hard to get outside to experience these benefits. 

The exciting news is, a lot of our lives can be translated to the outdoors as is! This means that more of the meals we eat, more of the books we read, and the work we do can happen outside. Enjoy summer lunches with children in the backyard, and opt to sometimes read books out loud by the light of the evening sun rather than a lamp. Try playing a board game like Twister or Charades out on the deck rather than in the living room, and see how much more fun it becomes! The more time we spend outdoors, the easier it becomes to get addicted to this feeling and make it a habit. 

To encourage children (and adults!) to get outdoors more often, start out by sharing the benefits of the outdoors with each other. This can help encourage us to get outside and experience these benefits for ourselves, rather than feeling coerced into going outside just because we were told to. Another way to get outdoors more often is by utilizing positive association: this means that whenever we want to do something we enjoy, we make sure to do this outside. For example, this could be a book lover who tries going outside to read every day (therefore associating the happiness they get when reading with the outdoors, too!), or a child who begins to love the morning sun because they try drinking their favorite orange juice on the porch steps every morning. 

Our Top Five Tips to Get Outdoors All Summer Long

Now that we know why to get outside this summer, what are some immediate ways we can get outdoors more often to soak up these benefits? Meet our top five tips: 

Build the outdoors into your daily routine. We get it, it’s hard to get outside when there isn’t a reason to - so build one into your day! Try making a habit of taking your morning coffee out on the porch steps to catch the sun, or spending fifteen minutes chatting with family in the backyard every evening before dinner. If you have spare time during a work day, get outside and walk the block. 

Do indoor activities outside: A great way to get outside more often is by taking tasks you used to do inside during the winter outside for summer! This means tasks that can be done on a laptop, working on an arts and crafts project, reading a novel, enjoying a meal, and even doing chores like chopping vegetables and hanging clothes outside. 

Plan more gatherings during the day time: It’s common to book most family meals and friends-only time during the evening when everyone’s free. By opting to spend more time with your loved ones during the day (like weekends, holidays, and lunch meetups) you’re automatically more likely to spend some of that time outdoors! 

Start a hobby that can only be done outdoors: One of our favorite ways to prioritize outdoor time is by working at a hobby that can’t be done indoors. This means activities like gardening, running, rollerblading, birdwatching/hiking, and cycling are all ready to be conquered! If you have the time to learn something new, we also love family-friendly water sports like paddle-boarding, kayaking, and sailing.

Get to more places without a car: Want to get outside more often without adding anything time consuming to an already busy schedule? Swap out a few (or all!) of your less-than-15-minute car rides for a walk, bike ride, rollerblade, or public transit commute. This can help you soak up the sun and spend more time outdoors without taking on a new hobby or filling up what little free time you may have.