According to the Keiser Family Foundation in a 2010 study, the amount of screen time only increases with age for our children. At the school age years children are spending 7.5 hours a day on electronic media. This isn't all bad as school age kids use electronic media to learn in school as well as for fun. What makes it negative is the fact that it isn't balanced in any way with non-electronic activities like outdoor play which gets your kids to run, jump and climb. So here are some tips to get your kids outside to play.
Eat outside at least one night a week. If you are having nice weather, turn dinner into a picnic as much as possible. You'll appreciate the fresh air as much as your children do and it won't take up any more of your time than the normal dinner meal does.
Plant a garden. This is a long term project that will have your kids outside every day checking their plants, pulling some weeds, digging in the dirt and enjoying the rewards. It doesn't have to be a big garden. As a matter of fact, it can be done in containers if you don't have a spot for it. My daughter planted one hot pepper plant and one sunflower in two pots one year. It got her outside and I had what I need to make a great salsa during harvest.
Throw a party with the cubby house being the main attraction. Dress it up like Hogwarts or a pirate ship and let the kids have at it. Serve some healthy and yummy snacks and watch the kids have a blast.
Limit the amount of time your children can watch television. Instead of using time as the limit, use the shows the watch as the limit. One show a day and two on the weekend, they pick the show.
Plan family activities to do active things outside, like hiking or biking. When you get into the habit of planning these events, you'll be doing them more often than if you just wait to see when you will have time.
A Great Cubby for Your Family
The Ranger Cubby House
The Ranger cubby house is a slightly elevated cubby with stairs unto a veranda - covered porch - and then into the cubby itself. It comes in two sizes: 2400 X 2400 and 2400 x 3000, so you can pick the one that fits best in your backyard. The cubby has four windows to allow natural light to flow in and you can choose to make more natural light available by adding a skylight as well. The roof comes in a variety of colors so you can find one that will complement the home you have.