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Activities to Make Kids Drop their Phones and Spend More Time Outdoors

Feb 17, 2023
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With the ubiquity of smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles, it's no secret that children today are spending more time than ever before in front of screens. While there's nothing inherently wrong with enjoying a bit of technology, it's essential for children to balance screen time with outdoor activities to stay healthy and happy. One of the best ways to encourage kids to spend time outside is by providing them with fun and engaging activities to do in the garage and backyard. In this article, we'll explore some of the best activities that kids can do to stay active and engaged without relying on screens.

Gardening

Gardening is a fantastic activity for children to do in the backyard. It not only encourages them to spend time outside but also helps them learn about nature and the environment. Even if you don't have a big backyard, you can still create a small garden in your garage. All you need is a container, some soil, and a few seeds or plants. Children can water and tend to the plants, learning about the different stages of plant growth and the importance of sunlight and water. This activity is not only fun but also helps children develop a sense of responsibility and empathy toward the natural world.

Outdoor Games

There's nothing like playing games in the backyard to get children moving and having fun. Outdoor games like tag, hide-and-seek, and capture the flag are excellent ways to promote physical activity and socialization. Kids can also engage in sports like basketball, soccer, or volleyball, which require teamwork, coordination, and physical fitness. If you have a garage with ample space, you can set up a mini obstacle course or create a game of "floor is lava" using cardboard boxes, ropes, and other materials.

Arts and Crafts

Creating art is another activity that can keep children occupied and engaged in a productive way. Whether it's painting, drawing, or crafting, arts and crafts provide an excellent opportunity for children to use their imaginations and creativity. You can set up a small art station in your garage with paints, brushes, paper, and other materials. Or, you can take inspiration from nature and create art with materials like leaves, rocks, and flowers found in your backyard. This activity not only promotes creativity but also helps children develop fine motor skills and focus.

Camping and Outdoor Adventures

Camping and outdoor adventures are great ways to get children excited about the outdoors. Whether it's setting up a tent in the backyard or taking a camping trip, these activities provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn about nature and the environment. Children can help set up the tent, collect firewood, and cook meals over an open fire. They can also engage in activities like hiking, fishing, and star-gazing, which help promote a sense of adventure and curiosity. These activities help children learn about self-sufficiency and resilience, which are important life skills.

DIY Projects

DIY projects are an excellent way to get children interested in tinkering and building. In the garage, children can engage in activities like building a birdhouse, creating a planter box, or constructing a fort. These projects help children learn about tools, materials, and construction techniques. They also encourage problem-solving and critical thinking. If you have younger children, you can create a simple project like a cardboard box fort or a tower made out of plastic cups.

Ensuring children's safety while playing in the garage or backyard can be achieved by implementing several measures. The following are some ways to make sure kids are safe while playing in these areas:

Supervise children: Always keep a watchful eye on children while they play in the garage or backyard. This helps you to monitor their activities and prevent accidents.

Secure hazardous items: Keep all hazardous items like sharp tools, pesticides, chemicals, and other dangerous substances locked away in a secure location that is out of reach of children. You may put these on wall shelves or overhead storage racks so that they would be inaccessible to children. 

Store vehicles properly: If you have a garage, make sure to park your vehicles in designated spots, away from where children play, to prevent accidental collisions.

Install safety features: Install safety features like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors in the garage to prevent fires and other hazardous situations.

Keep the area clean and organized: Ensure that the garage and backyard are kept clean and organized, with no clutter or obstructions that could cause trips, falls, or other accidents.

Establish rules: Set rules for children to follow while playing in the garage or backyard, such as not playing with dangerous items or running around in the garage.

By taking these safety measures, you can create a safe and secure environment for your children to play in the garage or backyard.

Final Word 

There are many activities that children can do in the garage and backyard to stay active and engaged without relying on screens. Gardening, outdoor games, arts and crafts, camping, and DIY projects are just a few of the many possibilities. By encouraging children to spend time outdoors, you can help them develop a sense of adventure, curiosity, and creativity, all while promoting physical fitness and healthy habits. Whether it's through solo play or team activities, there are many opportunities for children to learn, grow, and have fun in the garage and backyard.

It's important to note that children's interests and preferences may vary, and it's essential to provide them with a variety of options to explore. Parents can also participate in these activities and make them more enjoyable by providing guidance, support, and encouragement. Additionally, it's essential to ensure that the environment is safe and suitable for children to play and explore.

In today's screen-dominated world, it's crucial to encourage children to spend time outdoors and engage in physical activities that promote healthy habits and social skills. The activities outlined in this article are just a few of the many possibilities for parents and children to enjoy together. By creating a balance between screen time and outdoor activities, children can have fun while developing important life skills and experiences that will last a lifetime.