If you and your partner love to get outdoors, there is a good chance that you will want to get your kids to do the same. It can be quite hard persuading kids to hang out with you – their parents – especially as they get older! But there are ways and means to get the moaning out the way after a while, and you never know, they might end up absolutely loving the activities you introduce them to. So how can you get the process started?
Make it an exciting experience
Telling your son or daughter that you’re going for a 5km hike is not likely to make them jump with joy. They’ll be thinking about the distance, that they can’t be bothered, and that they’d rather watch a programme on TV. But what if you said you were going on a treasure hunt, or you were going to find a rare exotic bird that not even their best friend has ever seen? You need to appeal to the mind-set of a child of that age, and it always helps if there is a reward in it for them. Plan a route past landmarks you are familiar with and each time they spot one they can get a chocolate coin or similar.
Let them invite along a friend
They might not be interested if they think that their friend at school will make fun of them come Monday. You can solve this problem by asking your child to invite a friend along for your hike, and even their parents if necessary. This way they are having a new experience together and can chatter about it during the next school week. It is a healthy activity for them to fall in love with!
Watch sports together on TV
Sometimes all your child needs is a great role model. Watch the Olympic Games for activities like kayaking to show them what it’s really like. If they can imagine themselves in that position years down the line it may spur them to get involved now. Do a bit of research and see which local activities will accept children onto courses and experience days.
Buy them some cool outfits
For the little madam in your family, you might want to try a spot of persuasion with some new outdoorsy clothes. Whether you buy her a Merino sweater or a cool bush shirt, she’ll soon feel the part. It just adds an extra element to the experience; something she wouldn’t usually wear every day.
Enroll them into a camp
Finally, if none of these tips work, you could always enroll them in a summer camp. They could spend a weekend, a week or even two up in the mountains with other children their age. It would give them a chance to try lots of different activities in a short amount of time; perhaps they will discover something that they haven’t previously tried. From hiking and rock climbing on the land, to swimming and kayaking on the water, there’s so much out there for your kids to get involved in.