Getting the children involved in anything other than television and video games is hard these days. The convenience of electronics has made it harder for families to come together. Having things to do outside can mean the difference in being active and being a couch potato.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to have activities outside for the whole family. Gardening and projects like building a treehouse or clubhouse are ideas that have kid and adult size toys involved.
The best rewards are those that you earn with hard work and dirty hands! The easiest way to make a successful garden with the whole family is to go to your local greenhouse nursery with the kids. Make it a family outing (complete with ice cream on the way home). Most nurseries will have lots of different gardening tools and toys for the children to feel useful in preparing the garden. They have everything from children’s wheelbarrows to shovels and rakes and even gardening gloves for the kids. Let the children explore the nursery. If you go at certain slow times, you can probably find a very helpful gardener at the greenhouse to help you with selecting the easiest plants to grow. When planting with children, you should probably stick with small plants instead of seeds. The maturity of the plant will take less time and the rewards come quicker for the children. Choose a plant that has a shorter maturity time so the children won’t get bored waiting for it to do something.
Most of all let the children use their gardening toys! Pour the soil into their wheelbarrow and let them do the dumping. The more hands on the children are, the more they enjoy it. They don’t want to sit there and watch you do it, that’s no fun! Let them water the plants and watch them grow! Let them pick the flowers or fruits and vegetables that they have worked so hard for.
Another great way to spend time with the family outside is to build a treehouse. This is another project that involves everyone in the family. If you don’t have any trees in the backyard, then call it a clubhouse. This is a project that is really something that can be cherished for years and years. Take a trip to your local hardware store with the kids. Anything that comes in adult size, comes in kids’ size too. They will get a kick out of all the power tools and different equipment that they can use to help the project along. Make sure that they have a say in what the clubhouse or treehouse looks like. Make sure that they are “really” helping with their toys and they will be so proud of what they have done. Let them pick the colour of the paint or what toys go in the clubhouse or treehouse. Most toys now have sounds that are very similar to the real thing. Their power screwdriver sounds just like your power screwdriver!
No matter which project you choose for your family, knowing the quality time that you spend together is worth the work it takes to create a successful garden or creating the coolest clubhouse in the neighbourhood. Learning about each other is something that all families should do.