Most parents know how much their children benefit from outdoor play time and time spent in the sun in general. However, it’s hard to make sure your kids get enough time outdoors to play and enjoy the green spaces when you live in an apartment that doesn’t give you your own backyard. Fortunately, parents can still keep their children under control even if they live in an apartment. Here’s how.
Play parking and sidewalk games
There is no requirement that you have to be in a backyard to play games outside. In fact, there are tons of great games you can play with your kids on the sidewalk or in the parking lot (as long as no cars are driving). In other words, Living in an apartment is only a barrier to outdoor play if you allow it.
The organization active for life recommends the following sidewalk and parking games that only require sidewalk chalk and a few other items:
- Alphabetical jump
- Avoid the shark
- four squares
- sidewalk tornado
In addition, you can try other interesting outdoor activities that can be arranged on the sidewalk or in the parking lot, such as:
- lawn darts
- outdoor bowling
- ladder ball
- Catch and throw
Remember to discuss safety rules with children before playing in the car park and always keep an eye on children while they are playing outside.
Enjoy local playgrounds
If you live in an apartment, you probably live in a city or other urban area. Typically, these areas have local green spaces, parks, or playgrounds that families can use. Using these free local playgrounds is a great way to get your kids out and moving, not to mention they often give your kids the opportunity to socialize with other kids. It can help children develop social skills and practice sharing while enjoying the sunshine.
In addition, as the team of the outdoor playground equipment company Little Tikes points out, playgrounds make physical activity feel like fun rather than something children should do. By climbing, running and sliding, kids get the necessary 60 minutes of daily physical activity without even noticing what they’re doing. It’s a great way for kids to stay in shape, and it benefits their mental health as well as their physical health.
If you recently moved to the area, apps like playground buddy can help you locate playgrounds in your area and research their offerings before you walk or drive there. It can be a great way to decide which playground will be best for your kids based on their age, and it also lets you see what other parents have to say about a particular park.
Start a garden
Children are never too young to have a green thumb, even if you live in an apartment. Most apartments include some sort of patio or balcony, and this is the perfect space for a container garden or other small structure for plants that the kids can grow.
Container gardening is a specific method of growing plants by keeping them exclusively in containers (or pots) instead of planting them directly in the ground. Although some people don’t like this method because it requires them to buy containers or pots, it’s a great way to reap the benefits of gardening even if you don’t have a big backyard.
If you don’t know what to grow, the team at The family handyman recommends the following:
It’s hard to make sure your kids get enough time outdoors if you live in an apartment or condo that doesn’t include a backyard. However, these suggestions can help your kids spend time in the sun and give you the opportunity to let them off steam.
Sources: Little Tikes, playground buddy, The family handyman