One of the great pleasures reserved for children is being able to go nuts and run amok outdoors. Climbing up and down trees, getting grass stains on all your clothes, collecting bugs. When you grow up, it's hard to enjoy this kind of thing without being deemed unfit for society, but for kids, it's not only something to do, it's a social and personal responsibility.
Sadly, there are more and more excuses for kids to stay indoors these days. There's nothing wrong with playing inside, of course. Inside is where you learn to read and count, and television and certain video games can be an excellent way to learn basic life skills, but playing outdoors is just as important. Fresh air, sunlight, exercise, a child needs all of these, not only for their physical development, but for mental development and even social development (where else are kids going to meet new friends in the neighbourhood besides outdoors?).
The problem is that playing outdoors isn't quite as addictive as TV and video games. Many kids need a little extra encouragement to go out and come face to face with the world of fresh air, sunlight, and new friends. An excellent way to get your kids interested in playing outdoors is, of course, with outdoor-only toys.
To know which toys will be most effective in encouraging outdoor play, you'll need to look for something specific to your kid's interests. If your kid is a huge fan of Bob the Builder toys, you can provide construction toys like tractors, trucks, bulldozers and things like that to let your kid have fun digging up the dirt and sand outdoors. If your kid is interested in sports, you're pretty much set. A basketball or a soccer goal will get the job done right away.
Other kids are more into adventure, and luckily, there are plenty of toys to encourage your kids to go on adventures of their own, such as a tent to use as a home base in their backyard expeditions.
For a kid that just can't put down the video game controller, a remote control car seems like an obvious choice. You can operate most remote control cars indoors safely, but it's a lot more fun to build obstacle courses and ramps in the front yard than it is to build them in the living room.
Then, of course, there's ride-on toys, such as scooters and bicycles. For younger kids, companies like Fisher Price and Playskool make safer alternatives to the larger, metal bodied scooters and bikes, such as ride on fire trucks, four wheeled scooters, and even baby car toys. For a grownup, a vehicle is a responsibility. Even if it's your dream car, there's rising gas prices and parking tickets to worry about, but for a kid, a pretend car is something carefree and empowering, and it's kind of hard for any kid to resist that kind of temptation.
We don't really need to preach about the benefits of playing outdoors for kids, we all know that it's vital to a kid's health and development. An excellent idea, though, is to look for toys that will allow you to get out there with your kids and get some fresh air together. With all the responsibilities of adulthood, it can be easy to want to just flop down on the couch with the television for a few hours after work and neglect the need to spend some time just having fun outside, but it's definitely important to get out there. You'll live longer, you'll be healthier and happier, and you'll get to spend more time with the kids. . . And then, there are those afternoons where we just want an hour of peace and quiet. . . Either way, getting your kids outdoors now and then, perhaps with the aid of outdoor toys, is vital to your health!
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