Five Ways to Get your Children Interested in the Outdoors

In the technology age, it seems nearly impossible to pry kids away from screens. Whether it’s TV, a computer, or a cell phone, kids are constantly plugged in. You may not want your children to be so addicted to screens, however. It can be difficult to convince your kids to step away from all the technology in front of them and spend some time in the outdoors, appreciating nature. While it may take some effort on your part, there are many benefits to getting your kids outside and enjoying nature. While they’re outdoors, you can teach them about the responsibility that humans have toward the earth. Read on to learn a variety of ways to get your children interested in the outdoors.

1)      Unplug screens. Though it may be hard, particularly with your kids whining and pleading for you to turn them on again, turning off the screens may be one of the best things you can do for your children. Telling them to go outside and play, without screens, is one way to get them to go outside. Encourage your children to go outside whenever they can, as often as possible.

2)      Lead by example. As you know, your children follow your example when it comes to just about anything. If you unplug their screens but stay plugged in all the time, they are going to resent it. Take them on a picnic, or go outside once in a while to play with them. It’s important that they see you enjoying the outdoors too.

3)      Take them swimming. Children love swimming, especially in the heat of Texas summers. Teach them how to swim, or take them to swim lessons at the YMCA. Get them interested in the neighborhood pool or take them to lakes and rivers. Remember the safety tips about having your kids in water, but be prepared to enjoy a great way to cool off on a hot summer day!

4)      Send your kids to summer camp. Summer camp is a great way to get your kids to spend supervised time outdoors. Summer camps allow kids to interact with one another and thus develop social skills as well as spend time exercising, which allows them to remain active and healthy. Summer camps like those offered at the YMCA are a great way to get your kids interested in the outdoors.

5)      Get them biking. One of the best ways to get your kids to be interested in the outdoors is to get them on bikes. Bike riding has been a fun pastime for kids since bikes were first invented. Plan a day’s bike ride around the neighborhood, or even on a hike-and-bike trail nearby. You can teach your kids how to bike as well as make a family bicycle outing once a week.

Teaching your kids to love the outdoors is simply a part of being a parent these days. While it may seem odd to have to convince your kids to go outside, it is one of the best things you can do for them in the age of screens.  Want more information on staying active? Check out our programming options at

Authored by: YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas