Children spending time outdoors is a tricky matter for parents. When we were young, we were encouraged to spend as much time as we could outside. As toddlers, we played in the garden until all hours. Then as we got older, we got further away from our homes with our friends. In the school holidays, we were out morning till night, enjoying ourselves, getting dirty and having fun. Now, while we know that our children need to spend time outdoors and get more exercise, we’re also worried about the dangers of them getting outside. We don’t want them to be out on their own. We worry about them getting hurt, or worse, and we would rather them stay where we can see them. So, what should we do? Let them sit on their devices all the time, not getting enough exercise and developing video game addictions. Or, do we find ways to get them outside?
Well, like most other things in life, balance is vital. A little time on a video game or tablet won’t hurt them. In fact, now that so much of our lives are online, it’s a helpful part of their development. But, time outside is good for their physical, mental and social development.
Camping can be great fun, but it’s amazing how many modern families never do it. It gives you a chance to get out there in the real world, exploring the environment, learning more about nature, and getting to know each other again. You could always invest in a handheld GPS from Two-Way Signal, or some Bluetooth speakers and other camping gadgets if you want to add some tech to your trip.
Play Games Together
Chances are, it’s not just your kids that need to get off their computers or screens a little more often. Most of us could do with getting a little more exercise and time outdoors. So, why not find some things that you could do together? Take a ball to your local park and have a kickabout, you could even invite your friends and family and make a day of it.
Set Some Limits and Goals
It’s very easy to say, “we’ll spend more time outside,” but even with the best intentions, things can start to slide, and you can suddenly find that you are all glued to tablets and screens. So, set some limits for the whole family. Allow a certain amount of screen time and set goals for how much time you want to set outdoors, or how much exercise you want to do. Just make sure you stick to the rules yourself to set a good example.
Find Fun Things to Do
Tell a kid that you are going for a walk, and they’ll be bored already. Spend time making a scavenger hunt together or exploring new parks, and they’ll be much keener. Sit down together and research your local area. Write a list of fun things that you want to do and places that you’d like to visit.
Go, Berry Picking
Kids love creating things. Go out to local parks and nature reserves and do some berry picking. Then, take them home and use them to bake pies and cakes together.
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