Fall is upon us; isn’t it glorious? When I was a kid, spring was my favorite season, even though the allergies would have me spying the budding newness through itchy, watery eyes. But as I get older, I find it is autumn that I love the most. There is something about the crisp air, the pronounced change of season, hot apple cider and neck scarves. Yep, spring with sandals and sundresses are fine, but give me fall, a great hat and boots any day.
It’s also a great time to get your young one out from in front of the TV and into the great outdoors. Alas, at times that’s easier said than done! “But Mom.. it’s COLD” (or wet or buggy… insert your own frequently heard complaint).” If you haven’t had much luck getting their keesters off the couch, here are some things you can try:
- Think outside the box: The “Big Family Outing” doesn’t have to be a big, family outing. It can be something relatively simple like taking the dog and a Thermos full of cocoa to a new park. Maybe it’s raking leaves for the neighbor (with the promise they can jump in the pile a few times) or grilling hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire pit in the backyard. The point is that it doesn’t have to be a grand production. Your kids will still get the benefits of a bit of fresh air in the process.
- Let the kids plan the field trip fun: If you want to do something a little more adventurous, how about turning the planning over to them? Even little kids can tell you what they want to do, and with a little guidance, you can all come up with something really fun to do for which they can have a bit of ownership. It’s also a great opportunity to create memories. For us, it’s the annual Apple Picking Trip. It was something we decided to do as a family about eight years ago, and even though my kids are older now they still look forward to going.
- When all else fails, bribery: Look I said I was the good enough mother not the good mother. Sometimes it takes more than, “It will be fun” to get them to move, especially as they get older. So as a last resort, I throw in something that they’ll like; maybe it’s a promise to eat out or a new song on iTunes. I don’t have to resort to this often, but it works great in a pinch. Then guess what happens? Once they get outside they have a great time, proving once again, that old, unhip Mom knew what she was talking about all along.
What about you? What do you do to get your kids out from in front of the TV on a beautiful fall day?
By Evenflo Savvy Parenting Expert Rene Syler, founder of Good Enough Mother