It’s hardly possible not to notice how different the childhood of modern kids is compared to the one of those who were growing up without the Internet, iPads, and social networks. Back in the past, kids used to spend hours of their time outdoors playing with other kids. Playground and backyard and beach were the locations of choice for virtually any child. Such activities as playing with a ball, hiking, cycling, and simply running around were making up the biggest part of kids’ daily routine. Not even to mention how hard it was to convince a kid to go back home for a launch. Gone are the days of all this. In today’s highly digitalized world, childhood is no longer about outdoor activities.
Ironically, today it’s harder to convince kids to actually go outside and have fun in the fresh air than do the opposite. Modern kids are so addicted to devices and gadgets that it gives them hard times understanding the simple happiness of playing outside. In fact, one of the recent surveys revealed that children between eight and 18 spend as much as 7 hours 38 minutes on screen. What’s even more alarming is that 85 percent of moms confirm that they use gadgets to keep their kids occupied so they can get on with their own activities. In light of this, it comes as no surprise why emotional intelligence as well as mental health of modern kids are not as good as it could be.
The good news is that the status quo can be and should be challenged. And one of the best ways to do so is to encourage kids to try interesting outdoor activities they’ve never participated in before. Need some ideas? Feel free to use one of those listed below.
Make Them Try Gardening
One of the greatest ways to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors is to let them start their own garden (or participate in taking care of yours). The advantages of gardening for kids are numerous. First of all, this way your kids will get interested in nature and planting. Second of all, your kids will surely have fun playing with dirt, planting tiny seeds, and watching their efforts turn into plants over the course of time. Not even to mention that gardening requires regular efforts, which means your kids will spend more time with nature on a regular basis.
Establish a Hiking Tradition
Hiking is yet another idea that can make your kids spend more time outdoors (and less time on screen). Apart from boasting numerous health benefits, hiking is also a great way to spend more time with family in the open air. Make such activities regular and chances are good that one day your kids will understand all the perks of outdoor activities.
Make Them Responsible for Walking a Dog
It’s no longer a breaking news that kids that grow up with pets tend to be healthier and happier than those who grow up without four-legged friends. For the majority of parents, this mere fact appears to be enough to make a decision about adopting a pet. If you need an extra reason, here it is: adopting a dog will make your kid ditch the gadgets and spend more time outdoors.
This little trick will make your kids forget about gadgets at least for a couple of hours. Invite your kid’s friends for a backyard party at your home, think of some interesting active games you loved to participate in when you were a kid, prepare some delicious food (ice cream and cookies do the job just well) all kids love and enjoy the results – little to no attention given to gadgets.
As you see, encouraging your kids to spend more time outdoors is not as hard as it may seem at first glance. All it takes to make a child forget about gadgets is to provide interesting alternatives to video games or social networks. Try it and chances are good you’ll be glad that you did.
Hilary Smith has writing in her blood and communications on her brain. This yoga enthusiast appreciates a daily workout and loves keeping time with two children. A mother by day and writer by night, Hillary keeps abreast of the latest tech apps as she focuses in on the field of digital parenting.