Play Parking Lot & Sidewalk Games
There’s 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 an obstacle to outdoor play if you allow it to be.
The organization Active For Life recommends the following sidewalk and parking lot games that only require some sidewalk chalk and a few other items:
- Alphabet Hop
- Avoid the Shark
- Four Square
- Sidewalk Twister
Furthermore, you can try out some other great outdoor activities that can be set up on the sidewalk or in the parking lot, such as:
- Lawn darts
- Outdoor bowling
- Catch & Toss
Just remember to discuss safety rules with children before playing in the parking lot, and always keep an eye on the kids while they play outside.
Take Advantage Of Local Playgrounds
If you live in an apartment, then you probably live in a city or other urban area. Typically, these areas have local green spaces, parks, or playgrounds of some sort that families can use. Using these free local playgrounds is a great way to get your kids outside and moving, not to mention they often give your kids an opportunity to socialize with other children. This can help kids develop social skills and practice sharing while they also enjoy the sunshine.
Furthermore, as the team at the outdoor play equipment company Little Tikes points out, playgrounds make physical activity seem like fun instead of an activity kids must do. By climbing, running, and sliding, children get the necessary 60 minutes of daily physical activity without even noticing what they’re doing. This is a great way for kids to stay in shape, and it benefits their mental health just as much as their physical health.
If you’ve 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 to them. This can be a great way to decide which playground will be the best for your kids depending on their ages, and it also allows you to see what other parents have to say about a particular park.
Start A Garden
Kids are never too young to develop a green thumb, even if you live in an apartment. Most apartments include some sort of patio or balcony, and that’s the perfect space for a container garden or other small structure for plants that kids can nurture.
Container gardening is a specific method of growing plants by keeping them exclusively in containers (or pots) instead of planting them directly into the ground. While some people don’t love this method because it requires them to buy containers or pots, it’s a great way to still get the benefits of gardening even if you don’t have a large backyard.
If you aren’t sure what to grow, the team at The Family Handyman recommend the following:
It’s hard to make sure your kids spend enough time outside if you live in an apartment or condo that doesn’t include a backyard. However, these suggestions can help your kids catch some time in the sun and give you the opportunity to let them blow off some steam.
Sources: Little Tikes, Playground Buddy, The Family Handyman