Thanks to televisions, game consoles, and other mobile devices, kids don't spend enough time outside. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. For most adults, there isn't much of a choice if you have an office job. However, there is no reason your children should spend that much time in the house. Here are a few helpful tips to get the kids excited about spending time outside.

1. Create an Outdoor Play Space

The easiest way to lure the kids outside is to take the fun outdoors. Almost every home has a dedicated play area within the house. Over time, the kids build a sizable collection of indoor toys. Meanwhile, your backyard or patio remains bone dry. It shouldn't come as a surprise that they would rather play in the house where they have everything they want while being very comfortable. You can change this by building a play structure outside. This can mean anything from a pirate ship to a treehouse, depending on your kid’s ages. Even something as little as installing a swing could make a big difference.

2. Host Parties and Playdates

Perhaps your child doesn't necessarily hate the outdoors; they just want to spend time with their friends. And since all of their friends are online, they don't see the need to go outside. If you bring all of their friends together, kids are much more willing and happy to play outdoors. You can do this by either throwing a party or arranging for playdates. If you are leaning towards a party, get involved in the plans. Let them choose the theme and the guest list. Playdates require even less time and fewer people. Provided you make arrangements with the other parents, it can be a blast for everyone. If your kids are older, consider hosting outdoor games with friends such as a football game, tug of war, or even a water balloon fight.

3. Outdoor Toys

Everyone remembers the first time they got on a bike. It started as fun until you realized the training wheels needed to come off. As you grow older and master bicycling, it can become too easy for older kids or teens who are looking for more excitement in their daily activities. You can elevate their experience with a hoverboard, motorcycle, or an electric bicycle. Teens are able to go faster and out into areas that they would not be able to go on a regular bike. If your child is responsible, consider investing in fun outdoor toys that will attract them outdoors.

4. Help Them Plant Their First Garden

Planting a garden is another excellent way to get the kids out of the house. It is an opportunity for them to learn. You take the time to teach them about pollination, transplanting, and nutrition. Assign them some work from the beginning. A simple task like watering the garden every day will teach them responsibility. Just like with pets, they will get attached and want their garden to do well. When planting the garden, start with things that are easy to grow. Get their opinion on what they would want in the garden. This will keep them interested throughout. You can also plant some flowers. Gardening is a great way to nature the scientist in them.

5. Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are so fun even adults don't mind getting involved. It requires a lot of thought and planning to pull off. It can either take place around the house or at the local park. The complexity of the puzzles and the length of the game depends on the ages of the children. Younger kids under the age of 6 have a concentration span of just 40 minutes. Slightly older ones around eight years can manage an hour-long hunt. Make sure you factor this in to prevent them from getting bored. You can even get the whole neighborhood involved for even more fun. Just make sure you let everyone know beforehand.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. You can use your kid's interests to come up with other fun outdoor activities. Getting your children to spend more time outdoors has many health benefits. Running, jumping, chasing, and pulling helps children burn calories. This prevents obesity and promotes the growth of bones. Outdoor activities also lengthen concentration spans and help kids learn about nature and their environment. Besides health benefits, outdoor play helps them develop critical social skills they will need to be successful in life.

Author's Bio: 

Katie earned a BA in English from WWU and loves to write. She also adores hiking in redwood forests and photography. She feels happiest around a campfire surrounded by friends and family.