You do not have to pack up your family and head to the beach or park to enjoy a day of activities; the gateway to outdoor fun is right in your own backyard. Make your backyard an exciting adventure for your kids by coming up with a variety of games to pique their interests.
Benefits of Backyard Games
Playing backyard games with kids is more than just giving them fun activities to keep them occupied. In fact, there are a host of benefits, both physical and mental, children experience from playing outdoors. Kathleen Alfano, Ph.D., director of child research for Fisher Price, notes that outdoor play gives children a chance to explore the world around them, develop strength, learn coordination and get a confidence boost.
Consider Your Kids’ Ages
Backyard playtime is enjoyable for kids of all ages. Keep in mind, however, the age ranges of your kids when you come up with activities. Smaller children may not have the physical capacity to perform the same activities and games as older children.
If engaged in fun activities, children can play for hours, whether indoors or outdoors. While outdoor play may last until your child tuckers out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that children partake in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
Keep Them Happy Outdoors
Backyard games can range from simple activities, such as blowing bubbles or collecting rocks, to more physically challenging activities, like participating in relay races or jumping on a trampoline.
Set up an obstacle course in your backyard and challenge your kids to maneuver through it. The TLC Family website suggests using household items to create the course. Items such as small pools, balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, pillows, blankets and sleeping bags will work. Once the course is set up, let your kids have a peek, then cover their eyes, spin them around and send them off through the course. Add more fun by having one kid give directions to the other to help him get through the course successfully.
Use your backyard sandbox to have children dig for “gold” and other hidden treasures. Use gold paint to color about 20 rocks. Allow the rocks to dry, then hide them in your child’s sandbox. Hide other items, such as rubber bouncing balls, plastic rings and blocks. The Disney Family Fun suggests giving children one minute to see how many treasures they discover.
Dangers of the Great Outdoors
Your backyard is a fun but potentially dangerous environment for your kids to enjoy play. Concerns, such as sunburn, bug bites, scraps and cuts from falls, splinters and poisonous plants, cause families to gather healthy and safety items, just in case an unfortunate situation occurs. The Family Corner website suggests keeping basic items, such as reusable water bottles, bandages, insect sting pads, tweezers, sun block, insert repellent and itch-relief ointment.
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