I was recently reminded of an alarming fact: according to a nationwide poll from The Nature Conservancy last summer, only about 10 percent of kids say they are spending time outdoors every day.
Other studies support this alarming trend: a study from the Children and Nature Network show that only 6% of kids ages 9-13 play outside on their own, and that kids 8-18 spend a whopping 53 hours per week using entertainment media (Kaiser Family Foundation). With the variety of electronic entertainment options never ceasing, it certainly is a challenge for many to keep their kids active.
We recently asked our Facebook fans how they encourage their kids to go outside and got some great responses ranging from ‘not encourage – tell’, and our favorite, ‘spending time outside myself.’ For Green Kid Crafts parents at least, making outdoor time a priority seems to be working as several of them said that their kids are always asking to go outside.
But what to do if that’s not the case? We suggest following our fan’s advice and making it a priority for not just your children, but your entire family, to go outside. If you need inspiration, check out NatureRocks.org. The site’s “family fun nature planner” lets you search for outdoor activities based on the amount of time you have, the age of your child and where you want to go (or stay). For more ideas, you can also download a Summer Activity guide for free.
If you’re short on time, even simple things like going for a walk after dinner (the dishes aren’t going anywhere), or having a picnic right in your backyard, will go a long way.
Send us a comment to let us know what some of your favorite family outdoor activities are!