It’s officially autumn! Days are shorter, but there is still plenty of time in the day for kids to enjoy the outdoors. Unlike twenty years ago, you might not find groups of children outside playing until the sun goes down. However, science has shown there are many benefits to outdoor play, including kids with healthier bodies and minds.
So why aren’t they out there? Many kids don’t really know how to play outside. Many times games need to be played as a group, and if no one in a group of children know how to play anything other than Nintendo, you’ll have a group of boys and girls just looking at each other.
You can let your kids be the heroes. Show them the games that will keep their friends busy outside for hours. Then, as an added bonus, the fresh air and sunshine will get them to sleep better at night. A few games that could keep them busy include:
1. Treasure Hunts
This is an all-time kid favorite. The best part is that you, the adult, can make a list and then just set them free. You may want to check your yard first to see what is out there and how hard it is to find. You don’t want to make your list TOO easy. Make your list specific (a pinecone) or open-ended (something prickly). Give each child or team a basket or bag to keep their collection and send them on their way with or without a time limit.
2. Obstacle Courses
Another great option when you have a nice, big yard is running an obstacle course. Perhaps the best part is that there is no exact science to how it’s done. Therefore, the kids can find what they can around the yard and set it up however they want to do it. Just make sure an adult approves it for safety reasons. Who knows? The kids may even wear themselves out building the course.
3. Capture the Flag
Here’s a classic that kids of all ages should know. Break into two teams. Each team has their own “half” of the property. Be sure to map out a clear dividing line. Each team hides a flag of some sort (a handkerchief, napkin, or even a sock) on their side. Once hidden, the other team needs to find your flag and bring it back to their own side without being tagged. Think you have it mastered on your property? Try it at night… with flashlights!
Older kids might have more fun with this classic. Let them spray paint circles of varying colors on the grass, about 6 inches apart. Get out the spinner when the paint dries and put those limbs wherever it tells you.
Now that you have the plan to take care of the kids when your friends come to visit, do you have enough room for everyone to play out there? Or is this the push you need to finally purchase that piece of land you’ve seen that was available on Hurdle? See how we can get you on that farm playing games today.