Getting Your Indoorsy Kids to Play Outside this Summer

photo (95)You recognize this guy, or maybe you don’t under all that hair. That’s Boy Wonder, my once introverted, always artistic lounge lizard who’d rather do just about anything than go play outside on a gorgeous summer day.

We live in southern California where the weather is so perfect it’s criminal 350 days out of every year. With today’s high of 93°F and low of 66°F, there’s simply no reason why my little hermit shouldn’t be outside soaking up all that vitamin D.

We have bikes, scooters, scooter-bike contraptions, water balloons, super soakers, a variety of athletic balls, and loads of eager neighborhood children just vying for the opportunity to play with Boy Wonder and all of his cool outdoorsy stuff. But no, this kid would rather read, draw, beg for screen time, or nap than dare get sweaty playing outside. Part of me gets it. I too have a lot of hair and sweaty head bites, but geez. He’s a kid and dammit, he’ll only be 10 years old once.

I know how when you’re a kid summers seem to last forever along with what feels like a lifetime membership to Kidville, but both expire eventually. There will come a time in the not so distant future when people will think that Boy Wonder spending all day getting dirty, eating popsicles, and playing with his friends isn’t so cute anymore.

Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe our house is too comfortable. Maybe I should force him. Or maybe I shouldn’t.

Play is supposed to be imaginative and fun and if his idea of play involves reading and drawing in the comfort of his air-conditioned bedroom, is that so wrong? I’m afraid you’re going to tell me it is.

I did a little research on how to get indoorsy types outside to play; check out what I found:

1. Parents, get outside! Good Housekeeping suggests that if we want to get out kids outside, we need to first start with ourselves. Good point, GH. I pretty much spend the entire day glued to my laptop. For tricks and ideas, check out 7 ways bloggers model active lifestyles for their kids.

2. Make it interesting. recommends planning interesting outdoor activities to spark your child’s interests. Nature hikes, nature conservatories, and public gardens are just a few of the places to consider getting your outdoor on.

3. Geocache your way to fun! The National Wildlife Federation knows adventure is the name of the game and has everything you need to start geocaching your way to fun. Check out how to turn a hike into a video game!

How do you encourage your tween to play outside?

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