Although they might’ve found it difficult in the beginning, your children are probably rather comfortable with staying inside all day now. From baking and crafting to playing computer games, there’s been a lot of activities readily available to children at home, which might make it hard for them to want to part with their new routine.
While it’s back to school for most children, making sure they break the habit of staying inside out of school hours is important when it comes to their health, development and socialisation.
Successfully getting the kids out after lockdown will have a positive impact on their happiness as well as yours, and help them get back to their bubbly pre-lockdown selves.
Here at Tilly & Jasper, we’ve come up with a few helpful tips for how to get the kids out after lockdown:
Sign them up for sports clubs and activities with friends
Sports clubs and after-school activities are a great way for your kids to do some exercise, have fun and socialise with others.
However, they’re more likely to want to attend if they’re going with their friends. Not only can this help ease their nerves when it comes to starting a new activity, but can help them find the confidence to make new friends and socialise with other children.
When enrolling your child, see if their friend wants to join too, or maybe see if they can attend with their sibling instead. Having an opportunity to get out and see their friends will make this new activity one of the highlights of the week and will ease them back slowly into a post-lockdown world.
Right now in the UK, from 8th March it has been possible for schools to restart their after-school sports and activities. March 29th will see the reopening of kids sports clubs, as well as adult sports clubs that older kids can get involved with.
Ask them what they would like to do outside
There’s no point in forcing your children outside to go somewhere or do something that they don’t want to do. It should be all about enjoyment when heading out into fresh air, so making sure that they’re not being dragged around somewhere they don’t want to be is vital in encouraging them to leave the house and spend more time out in the open.
Ask your children what they want to do when they go outside and where they want to go. Whether that’s to the park across the road to play on the swings or to the beach to walk by the sea, your child is more likely to see the outdoors as a fun place to be if they enjoy themselves.
As well as this, talk about new places with your child and tell them about how amazing and fun they are to visit. This encourages them to get excited for their day out, and they’ll see it as a treat instead of a task.
Ask them to personalise their day, from what they want to do to what they want to eat and what they want to wear. Of course, pizza for every meal is a no-go and dressing up outfits might be questionable for some environments, but making them feel comfortable and happy is important when it comes to them feeling safe outside.
Start incorporating daily walks and make them fun
Bringing the kids on your daily walks will help ease them back outside!
Maybe right now you go for a walk by yourself while the kids stay at home with another parent, but why not all go together?
Walking doesn’t have to be boring for them, and there are many ways you can make it interesting and exciting:
- Do some nature-spotting! Make a note of all the different birds, dogs or bugs you see
- Collect leaves, conkers or flowers
- Bring your dog
- Bring toys to play with such as balls and bats
- Follow a map and compass
- Take a different route every day
- Visit new destinations each time
Spend more time in the garden
There’s a high chance that your child is nervous to get back outside. This is understandable, as for the past year we’ve been told that our homes are the safest places to be.
Spend more time in the garden to show your child that the outside isn’t as scary as they think. Familiar and easy to reach, the garden or yard is comforting and you don’t need to travel miles to reach it.
Do some gardening together, or use the garden as a relaxing space in the sunshine.
Set screen-time limits and rules
If your kids are so used to being inside that they’ve become slightly addicted to screens, start limiting the amount of screen time they spend on them or make rules surrounding them.
Of course, it depends on how old they are; restricting a teenager from using their phone can potentially have more negative impacts than positive ones, but limiting how much 4-year-olds play on the iPad can encourage them to get more involved in physical activity. Screen time for kids and screen time for babies is bound to be very different, so you should always follow your instincts for your children.
A popular rule amongst parents is that electronics with screens aren’t allowed in bedrooms. This helps create a calming environment, making it easier for children to get to sleep at night.
For more helpful information and tips, browse our full blog now.