Living in the generation that we do, it’s common for kids to just run in and glue their eyes to the TV, computer, or latest video game. A study shows that kids today spend 55 hours a week indoors using just electronics and spend hardly any time at all outdoors. Spending more time outdoors can help inspire kids imaginations and give them the opportunity to interact with nature as opposed to electronics. Not to mention, it has that physical activity component that is fundamental for healthy living!
The real challenge is getting kids to actually tear themselves apart from their latest gadget long enough to realize how wonderful a breath of fresh air can be.
So, what are some ways to get your kids outdoors?
Backyard Camping Well if you can’t go to the woods, have the woods come to you! Suggest camping out in the backyard. Pitching a tent is a great way to work on a project together with your kids, and after the tent is all set up, you can even roast some hot dogs and s’mores over a small barbeque. They’ll be surprised at how much fun backyard camping is, and be begging for s’more!
Set Up a Treasure Hunt Who doesn’t love a treasure hunt? Fill a box up with a goody of some sort and bury it somewhere. Then create a map that will help lead them to the treasure. Not only will they be stepping foot outdoors, but they’ll gain real map-reading skills and be able to utilize them in future situations!
Go on a Hike! Sit down with your kids, plan a route, pick out a destination that is really appealing, and get exploring! When you have a destination in mind that the kids are excited about, it’s easier for them to remain motivated because they have something desirable they’re working towards. Don’t forget to pack yummy snacks for the adventure! And remember, you can always go on a night hike, too! If your kids love spotting out the big dipper or star gazing, it’s the perfect activity.
Make Art from Nature Take your child out on a walk through nature, have them collect a few pretty flowers, and press them. Not only do you get to enjoy the sunny skies, but you’ll always be able to flip open your book and admire the beautiful flowers from that day. It’s an instant artistic masterpiece!
Get Dirty! Mud never hurt anybody. Hand the kids some worn out clothes, let them make some mud pies, and they’ll have a blast. Give them a shovel and who knows where their imagination will take them? Also, a number of researchers believe that playing in the dirt exposes children to an array of bacteria and viruses that actually help strengthen their immune systems!
Sure, electronics are fun but there’s nothing quite like uncovering hidden treasure or throwing mud pies at your friends. Happy Outdoors!