Remember when the summers meant spending hours outside exploring and playing with your friends until the street lights came on? That’s the memory for most parents. However, with the advancement of modern technology and the changes of time, summer for many children is nothing more than hours spent watching television, playing video games, and gorging on unhealthy snacks. As changing the cycle means convincing them that the outdoors are more entertaining than their smartphones, laptops, and gaming devices, you’ll want to mix things up a bit.
Nothing sparks summer days and evenings like a good old-fashioned backyard bbq. When you don’t have the money to go somewhere but you’re tired of the kids lounging around, gather everyone up and head outside. A well-designed backyard complete with a grill or outdoor stove and outdoor cabinetry for storing spices and cooking utensils can set the tone for a fun-filled day. Grab some healthy but delicious options to throw on the grill, make some healthy treats like fruit smoothies and either relax by the pool or play a game of catch. Before you know it, the sun will be down and the kids will be tuckered out from all the fun they’ve had.
If you’d really like to give your kids a taste of the great outdoors, then going on a camping trip could be just the way to do it. Since you’ll be in wooded areas, the use of technology will likely be put on hold giving you a chance to connect as a family. Allow the kids to help with the setup of the campsite and the preparation of the food for real-world experience. Also, make sure you pack plenty of things for entertainment like balls, swimsuits, board games, crafts, and whatever else you can think of. If going to a campsite is too expensive, you could always head to your very own backyard and camp out there.
Local Festivals and Fairs
You don’t have to travel far just to have fun. Sometimes, there is a lot of fun to be had right in your own town. Check with local community centers or your city hall to find out about festivals and fairs coming to your city. They are generally free to the public (or admissions are very cheap), and the merchandise for sale is often affordable. Your kids can have fun to play carnival games or getting on rides or experiencing different cuisine from food trucks and cultural gatherings. Either way, you’re all out and about and having fun.
Head to the Beach
Though a lot of beaches charge admission, there are certain hours throughout the day when you and your family can get in for free. Try heading to the beach early in the morning or later in the evening when they’re no longer charging. You’ll find that not only is it more affordable, but it tends to be a lot less crowded.
There’s nothing wrong with a little screen time here and there, but getting your kids outside can really be beneficial to their health. Use the warm weather and the above-mentioned resources to help encourage them to get outside and explore something new. With any luck, they’ll love it so much you’ll be dying to figure out how to make them come in at night.