If you’re homeschooling several children, especially several children of different ages, working a great deal of playtime in your day can feel like a massive challenge. Getting them outside…well…you try, right? Sure, it’s a beautiful spring day, and you wish that they could play more often; but that’s just not always possible. There are lessons to be taught. Chores to be completed. Dozens and dozens of things that need to be accomplished before you can set foot outdoors, because of course your priority is a smoothly functioning household and educated children.
But what if you did make it a priority to head outside for at least a few minutes every day? What if you set aside the chores that need to be done and the lessons that need to be taught, just for a little while, and took the kids outside and chased them around in the sunshine? What if you took thirty minutes—just thirty minutes—and made that play time?
It clears the mind.
Kids need to get outside and move. Their bodies are designed for it. Their minds are designed for it. Sitting around all day—“being responsible” all day—weighs them down, so that when they are finally set free, they’re off like a shot and can’t seem to get their heads back together. Giving them a little bit of free play, especially outdoors, helps keep their minds clear.
It improves the mood.
Admit it: after a winter trapped indoors, you’re more than ready for a little bit of sunshine yourself. Your kids feel that need even more than you do. Don’t trap them inside when the sun is shining and all any of you want is to get out and play! Get out and move, and see whether or not it improves their moods.
Little ones need to use their gross motor skills.
They’re still learning, growing, and developing those skills—so why not give them the chance to use them? Running around outside is a great opportunity to run, bounce on a trampoline, or swing on a swing set—all excellent activities for your growing child. Bigger kids need to use those skills, too!
There's a whole new world to explore out there!
Have a little one who’s bored with all the inside toys? Why not head out into the yard and see what there is out there? Do you have a swing set? A car he can drive? A slide? All of these things are brand new and exciting to a child who has been stuck inside most of the winter.
You can kick back and relax.
There’s not as much to mess up outside, so if they’re playing outdoors, they aren’t spreading their toys all over the living room floor for the sixth time this morning. Furthermore, they will likely need your active participation much less than usual—so you can just sit back and enjoy!