Like a lot (a LOT) of kids his age, my seven-year-old son has discovered, and loves, the world of electronic games. His current great interest is Minecraft, previously Angry Birds - all well and good, and I don't mind that he plays stuff as long as it's appropriate, but he'll do it all day if we let him.
So I work at getting him outdoors. This has actually been pretty easy to do in general. We camp pretty much year-round (we're in Georgia), he plays soccer, he's in Cub Scouts, we garden, and we've been geocaching together for a couple of years now. He likes messing around in the woods and at local parks with me, and I like spending the time with him.
Few of the other kids around here are easy to get outside, though, and when my boy's best friend comes over, he mostly wants to play...Minecraft. My dear wife camps with us, but in general enjoys the comforts of the home.
So, then, this is on me. Always looking for new ideas. What do you do to get your kid(s) outside?
I take the kids fishing and innertubing in the summer. In the winter we go skating and tobogganing. Outdoor sports are good as well, but that's not going to happen in Georgia.
Funny you should bring this up. The other day I took my younger daughter out toboganning. The weather was beautiful, the hill was covered in snow, conditions were perfect, and we were the only ones on the hill. The entire time I was there I kept looking around, thinking to myself "Where is everyone?"
I, too, have been in a park or some other outdoor setting where I'm doing something with my boys and I am a little surprised to see no one else there.
I find that kids who engross themselves with indoor activities have fathers who do not take them outside and play.... or haven't in a long time.
My daughter loves Disney movies, particurally the princesses. She would sit and watch flick after flick all day - and we've got the discs for her to do it - if we let her. Key phrase there: if we let her. But we also take her swimming at the YMCA and swinging on swings in the park, flying kites, walks around the neighborhood. And these are things she asks to do when we do them regurally.
My son will be walking soon... running within minutes after that... and I cannot wait to get him outside this spring to start playing with him as well.
It's strictly a seasonal issue in my house. I am happy to let my boys play video games when it's 10 degrees outside - I'm not taking them outdoors when it's that cold. During the fair weather months, however, they love the outdoors.
Do kids still do soapbox cars , that would make a great winter project in the basement or in a shed with a pot belly stove .
I agree with the perspective that it's not my kids who need to be out more. We, too are an active family. Dare I say most parents these days just aren't and naturally their kids aren't either. Best you can do is try to form bonds with parents who are likewise active wiht their kids and hope theirs and yours hit it off.
When I was a nipper my father had me out in the shed , he restored vintage Buicks so I would be sanding timber frames or de nailing panels stripping rubber off running boards , there was always a task .
When I was a bit older I wanted a trail bike , my dad being my dad we had to buy a junker and fix it . I think part of it was to kill time until I was older to ride as the bike project took two winters and also I knew every bolt on that thing so when something broke I could fix it myself .
That's awesome, Brian. I wish when I was younger my father would have showed me how to do these things rather than saying, "You can help by staying out of my way." Of course the things he did want my help with I had no interest in... how many piles of horse crap can one boy shovel before losing interest? I tell you it's in the single digets.