Children love to have fun, but as a parent, it is your job to make sure the activities are safe too, especially when playing outdoors. That can be tough, so we’re going to share some of the best ways to do it.
Make it Fun to be Safe
Since kids love games, Let’s Go Outside Box combines safety with fun outdoor activities to teach your child how to have positive outdoor experiences from the beginning. If we make it fun for them, they will follow safe outdoor practices and develop good habits without effort. Here are some great ways to get them to participate:
- Let your child pick out their protective clothing
The next time you buy protective clothing to guard against sunburn, cold breezes, rough or slippery terrain, have your child help you pick out their outfit. Choose a few options and let them make the final decision. Your child is more likely to throw on a swim shirt in the pool, long pants in the woods, and river sandals with good tread in the creek if they like the colors, designs, or accessories that go with them. Clothing with their favorite characters, snaps, pockets, or straps is more exciting.
- Buy your child a fun water bottle to drink outside
Playing outside works up a thirst and requires children to drink more water. Some children like drinking water, while others resist it. Even if it’s juice, we are thankful they are drinking something with water in it. Try diluting the juice a bit with water and take them shopping to buy a colorful themed water bottle that only goes outdoors with them. Let them clip it to their pants or backpack with a shiny carabiner.
- Play I-Spy with your kid before crossing the street
Before crossing any street, get your child into the habit of saying, “I spy with my little eye …” and have them search for the color of a car or other things on the road that might be moving. It could be a bicycle or a squirrel. The object is to get them to start looking for moving objects in the middle of the road and pause before crossing.
- Create a game called “sticking with their buddy”
If your child is more of an extrovert, they may already be keen on the buddy system when outside playing. But introverted children may prefer to be on their own. Tell your child to imagine they are superglued to their best friend or that there is an invisible rope between them. Have them link arms or hold hands while walking or pretend they are holding each other’s rope.
- Prevent outdoor dog bites with a song
Teach your child a song that reminds them what to do around other people’s pets. The Dog Safe song helps them remember that not every dog they come across is friendly and how to be careful:
|D = Don’t Tease, Please
O = Only Pet with Permission
G = Give Space
|S = Slow Down
A = Always Get Help
F = Fingers Together
E = Even Good Dogs Can Bite
It just takes a little creativity to encourage safe habits, so everyone can have more fun. Let’s Go Outside Box designs safe and fun outdoor activity boxes based on nature play and learning through play.
Treat the Dog Safe table as a single image and copy/paste
Cho, Gilbert, 2020 FrontPoint. 10 Outdoor Safety Tips to Share with Kids,