How can I get my kids to put down their gadgets and go outside?
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and your kids are inside playing video games, monopolizing your iPad, and binge-watching cartoons. But wait! There’s still hope. You can get the kids outside. How? Simply by catering to the natural desire to run around, get dirty, and have fun. If you use bug spray and stay tick aware, your kids are sure to have a great time outdoors.
First, utilize the natural resources around you. Wilton is blessed with an abundance of trees, and you can play all sorts of tree-related games. Try giving your child(ren) a bunch of assorted leaves and send them off on a quest to find the trees of origin. Set up some bird feeders, enlist your kids to help keep them filled, and have a bird identification book and binoculars handy to help you identify the birds that come to feed.
Give your kids child-safe tools—a magnifying glass, a shovel, a small rake—and let them examine the insects turned up by their tools. If your children are old enough, get them to help set up a tent so they can camp out in the backyard. On rainy days, dress them in rain jackets and boots, and send them to the mud, where the joys of mud-pie-making await, (as do millions of healthy bacteria, microbes, and viruses that will strengthen your children’s immune systems.)
If taking in nature’s glory isn’t enough to keep your children occupied, try some outdoor games. Scavenger hunts and picnics are sure to please, and can take place in your backyard, at Ambler Farm, Cranbury Park, or Merwin Meadows. Make up “Survivor”-esque challenges, promising rewards if necessary. Hide-and-seek, manhunt, and treasure hunts are tried-and-true favorites, that will get your kids up and moving while enjoying the thrill of discovery.