Children Jumping Rope [Photograph]. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from: https://www.cigna.com/assets/images/newsroom/children-jumping-rope.jpg

Spring time is in full effect! The temperature is picking up, the sun is shining brighter, and children are excited about getting outdoors…well, at least they should be. We didn’t have tablets and smart phones to play with in the ’90s; we had to go outside and make our own fun. But children today would rather watch other children play with toys on YouTube, instead of actually playing themselves. Raising an active child may not seem important, but it can actually help with building their social skills and keeping them healthy and fit. Winter is over so there’s no excuse for your child to be a couch potato. It’s time to get up, get moving, and introduce our youth to some of the things that we enjoyed doing outside as children. If you can’t remember the game you used to play, we’re going to get you started. Here are 5 DIY approaches to getting your child active and excited about being outdoors.

  1. Take them to a playground. Playgrounds aren’t as overflowing with children as they used to be, but the playground is something kids of all ages will enjoy. From the slides, to the swings, to the monkey bars, your child will be running around for hours and playing with other children.

2. Get them a jump rope. With double-dutch, jumping competitions, and dozens of jump-rope rhymes, the possibilities with jump ropes are endless…and it isn’t just for girls. Take a stroll down memory lane and share some of the games you played. Over time they’ll create their own.

Playing [Photograph]. Retrieved March 20, 2017, from: http://stateofobesity.org/disparities/images/black-playground.jpg
3. Go rollerblading. Rollerblading is fun and easy for a child to learn to do! They have rollerblades for children as young as 4, so get them started early. Rollerblading is a fun way to keep your child active and you can strap on your skates and get a few minutes of exercise too! Take them to a walking or running trail and have them skate the day away.

4. Teach them “Red Light, Green Light.” You’ll be the traffic light that yells out “Red light!” or “Green light!” while the children race to you. If anyone is moving when you yell “Red light!” they have to go back to the starting place. Whoever tags the traffic light first gets to be the next traffic light. This is a really simple yet fun game that you can teach your children to play, while simultaneously teaching them the importance of listening.

5. Team them, “Simon Says.” This is another classic old school game that you can enjoy with your children and keep them active. It’s a game for 3 or more players where one player takes the role of “Simon” and issues instructions (usually physical actions such as “jump in the air” or “stick out your tongue”) to the other players. The trick to this game is following directions, because only the instructions that begin with, “Simon says” are the ones that should be followed. If you follow the instructions that don’t begin with the catch phrase, you are automatically eliminated. If you have an only child, invite their friends or other family members over to play a few rounds of this game. Teach them how to play this game and they will never get tired of playing it!

So, the next time we’re having a beautiful spring day, get your kids together and get them outdoors to have some old-school fun. With children growing up way too fast these days, outside games are a great way to get them back to age-appropriate fun.

Do you have any favorite childhood games or activities for children to enjoy outdoors? Feel free to list them below!

Written By: Kahina Ray

Follow Kahina on Instagram: @_k.ray

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