Today, children play outside about half as much as their parents did. Instead, they prefer playing highly entertaining computer games, watching television and, in some cases even do their homework. During the 70s and 80s, kids used to play at least 2 hours each week and 9 hours at weekends, regardless of the season. Today’s youngsters spend just over an hour outside each weekday and less than five hours during the weekends. According to a study of 2000 families, 44 percent of parents wish their kids would play outside more often, 58 percent say that their kids spend less time outside than other children they know and 54 percent worry that their kids doesn’t spend enough time playing outdoors.
A solution to this problem is getting the family involved in more outdoor activities. There are many fun outdoor chores for children, including watering the plants, reorganizing the garage space and washing the car. Turning the chores into games is great ways to motivate kids to help around and spend more time outside. Before you set your children lose, make sure they understand the job so they don’t try cleaning the electrical barbecue by sticking it in your brand new dishwasher. Even if it is one of the top rated dishwashers 2015, these appliances must be handled with care. Nevertheless, chores can sometimes be fun. If you have 2 or more kids, turn it into a contest and see who does the job faster and better.
Washing the dishes
Whether or not you are passionate about cooking, you have to agree with us on this one thing: washing the dishes is the most boring and time consuming chore, even if you have one of the top rated dishwashers 2015 units. However, this may only be true from your point of view. For the children, this chore is a lot less boring then cleaning their room or watering the indoor plants.
Have your kids draw a circle on the ground using outdoor chalk. The circle is their home base and each child must sweep tree droppings, leaves, garbage and whatever they find on the ground into their circle. The winner is the one with the largest pile at the end of a set time limit.
Cleaning the Outdoor Kitchen
If you have an outdoor stainless steel dishwasher, fridge, grill and other appliances, ask your kids to help clean the exterior while you clean the interior. Give each child an appliance to clean and some soft sponges. Whoever cleans the appliance better wins a small prize. Make sure you don’t use anything rough that can scratch the surface. Avoid chlorine bleach as it can damage the finish.
Watering the Garden
Keeping your plants properly watered can be difficult, especially if it doesn’t rain for a week or more. Teach your kids about the importance of watering the plants. For smaller children, poke some holes in a plastic cap with a heated metal nail. Find a container of bottle with handles and fill it with water. Let them hold the bottle over flowers or other plants. If your kids are older they will be able to hold a gallon-sized watering can.
Washing the Car
This job usually gets kids interested, especially if you use pop-up compressed sponges. Give them a sponge and a bucket and make sure you use a small amount of biodegradable detergent as the runoff goes to the local waterway. Try not to hand-wash your car that often and choose a commercial car wash which properly disposes of its waste water.
Treasure Hunt in the Garage
Most people store things in their garage and forget about them. Everybody knows the ‘Aww, look at this old tricycle’ or ‘I forgot about this badminton set’. Each spring, organize a treasure hunt in the garage. Tell your kids that they can keep whatever they find or trade it with their sibling for another item they like more.