Do you have an “indoor kid” that would prefer to play inside all day and rarely (if ever!) asks to go outside? Try these 5 tips for getting him or her up, out and moving!

1) Create an outdoor play area. Is your backyard set up to encourage play? Take a look at your play area; would you want to spend hours back there or can you empathize with your child who doesn’t want to play there? While some naturally imaginative “outdoor kids” could play for hours with nothing more than a stick and a pinecone, others need play structures like playsets and trampolines. If there isn’t enough room for permanent structures, create temporary forts and obstacle courses that can be taken down at the end of the day.

2) Encourage water play. For hot summer days, bring out the water! Set up the sprinkler, slip n’ slide and even baby pools. Create an obstacle course with these items and teach them how to use a watch timer to time each other. Older kids will enjoy water balloon and water gun battles while younger kids may play for hours at a water table filled with small toys, scoops and cups.

3) Teach them about nature. Go on nature hikes even if the “hike” is just a stroll around your neighborhood. Point out the various kinds of trees, plants, bushes, flowers, bugs and birds. (If you don’t know what they are, research them together!) In the backyard, provide your kids with simple tools: bug catchers, shovels, buckets, magnifying glasses, etc. and encourage them to explore. Or let them help you with your garden and teach them how to water, pull weeds or pick ripe fruits and vegetables.

4) Get them moving. Make sure they have appropriately-sized bikes, tricycles, and scooters and properly-fitted helmets to go along with them. Keep a bin full of other outdoors activities like bubbles, sidewalk chalk, kits, balls, and Frisbees.

5) Go on field trips. Sometimes even the best backyards can get boring after a long summer, so hit the road to find new adventures! As a family, visit nature trails, new playgrounds, local landmarks or even just walk to the grocery store if that’s not a part of your normal daily routine. Increase the fun by creating a scavenger hunt by giving them lists of things to look for along the way.

One last tip: Don’t stress about the mess! If the clean-up of outdoor play discourages you from encouraging them, set up a landing area outside the back door to catch all the toys and other items and create a system for muddy kids and dirty clothes.

If you need help creating an outdoor space your kids will love, visit us at Happy Backyards™ in Franklin. We can help you find playsets, trampolines and basketball goals for your space and budget!

Happy Backyards™ sells and installs only the safest and highest quality residential playground equipment, basketball goals, and trampolines for your own home. We are a local company and have been doing it for 15 years with a focus on quality products, quality service, and competitive low pricing.