If you are not the most athletic and adventurous person in the world, you might be wondering what you can do to get your kids out of the house and away from that PlayStation. You could always just take it away. But that doesn’t seem like a winning move. What You want to do is better motivate them rather than bully them into living a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes, raising smart, healthy, confident children requires more negotiation. The type of negotiation depends largely on their age. You can just force a child to go play outside if they are young enough. But that strategy does not scale well and often backfires in tragic ways.
Your best bet is to lead by example. You are always the first role model your kids see in the morning and the last before they go to bed. If you have no interest in outdoor activities, they will be less likely to develop such interests. That means you have to find something outdoors that keeps you coming back for more. Better still, you can find ways to kindle outdoor passion with your kids. It is not about what you do individually, but what you do together. Here are a few suggestions that will get you on the right path:
Add an Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor kitchens are all the rage. They can serve to add value to your home and be the spark that gets you and your family outside a lot more often. You don’t have to wait for special occasions to have a cookout. You can enjoy a barbecue anytime you like. Birthdays will be a lot more fun. And it will be a lot easier to have guests that are happy to be there, as opposed to just fulfilling a social obligation.
Don’t stop with the kitchen. While you have the contractor’s attention, build a gazebo or deck. Furnish it like a park, or like a beachside cabana. It is perfectly okay to be as whimsical as you like. If none of those ideas strike your fancy, craft a putt-putt golf course through your backyard. You don’t need 18 holes and an animated gorilla to have a fun place for your kids and their friends. Use part of the yard to plant a tomato garden with your kids. They will be hooked the first moment they pick a fruit they actually grew themselves. If you want to get the kids outdoors, start with your own backyard. Everyone loves an outdoor kitchen.
Do you know what else you can do in your backyard with your kids? Camping, that’s what. It is surprising how easy it is to transform your backyard into something new and exotic just by pitching a tent. When you are ready to take your camping to the next level, there are countless destinations within easy reach of wherever you happen to live.
You are definitely going to need some basic equipment for a first-time camper. One thing many take for granted is how incredibly uncomfortable the ground is when used as a bed. So be sure to bring good bedding made for camping. Don’t let anyone cajole you into roughing it in a way that is extreme and unhealthy. You will enjoy the outdoors a lot more if you are dry, warm, and comfortable. Experience it that way, and you’ll want to experience it again.
Photography might be the most fun way to enjoy the outdoors because it encompasses many interests. You can photograph everything from live sports to birds and insects. Photography might take you on the water in a canoe on a quiet lake. You don’t want anything that could tip you and your camera gear into the drink. If you are into adventure such as rock climbing, someone has to take pictures. After all, pictures, or it didn’t happen. When you can get your kids interested in photographing the world, they will want to be out in the thick of it all the time.
You might have trouble sending your kids outside. But you won’t have any trouble taking them with you outside if you add an outdoor kitchen, take them camping – the kind that doesn’t involve roughing it too much, and nurture their interest in photography. That is truly the Trojan horse of the outdoors lifestyle.