In a world awash with technology, it can be hard to find activities for kids that involve them putting down the iPads and getting outside. One of the best ways to encourage your children to embrace the outdoors is to take them somewhere new and exciting. This will help break routine and ultimately make them more likely to accept a new adventure. You don’t have to drop big bucks on a family vacation, but you should try to leave the realm of your daily life. Go out of town, do something new.

You’ll have a better chance of getting your children engaged in outdoor activities  if you involve them in the decision making process. This isn’t to suggest you give them free range, but choose a few options that are within your budget and comfort level, and then let them cast a democratic vote. Perhaps suggest a day at the lake and a boat rental, or a hike and a picnic, or even an overnight stay in a log cabin and a campfire.

It’s unfortunate, but being sent outside can sometimes feel like a punishment or a burden. Many kids are sent outside as a consequence of making a nuisance of themselves indoors. This only makes being outdoors a negative experience. If you want your children to love outdoor activities for kids, you’re going to have to lead by example. You got it – get active and get outside with them. Channel your inner child and reconnect with life’s simpler pleasures. We know it can be difficult to disconnect from the stress and hustle of daily life, but you and your family will be happier and healthier for the experience.

Perhaps most importantly, you’re going to want to your make outdoor activities a regular occurrence. This means you are really going to have to get on board with your wee ones. We know finances and commitments mean going out of town isn’t always a realistic option, so get creative. Think of some ways to reinvent your routine. Here are a few ideas:

Have a day at the lake – blow up an inflatable pool, make frozen juice pops, break out the suntan lotion and spend the day at your own private beach.

Sidewalk chalk is one of the most fun and affordable outdoor activities for kids. Set your family’s imagination loose and hit the pavement to create a family art gallery. Every family member can draw their picture on their own section of sidewalk.

Have a camp out in your backyard – A campfire is a great idea, as long as you check it with your local fire departments. You may need a permit, or your area may not allow campfires. As always, be mindful of fire safety: Have a pail of sand and another of water handy. Make sure the fire is totally extinguished when you go to bed.