Technology has become so much a part of our daily lives that it can be hard to remember how important it is to turn it off. When it comes to our kids, schools all over the country are giving them I-pads and laptop computers as early as kindergarten to use at school and take home. Children are getting their own cell phones at younger and younger ages, and the video game industry is always coming out with new and better tech that draws kids in. Most of us can probably agree that our kids sometimes spend too much time on technology and video games and that we wish we could get them to play outside.
Getting your kids to spend more time outside has been shown to have a number of benefits. The most well-known reason to play outside is to get exercise, but there are also a number of cognitive skills that can be learned, such as developing imagination and creativity, reducing anxiety, learning to solve problems and lead, and improving communication and listening skills. When kids play outside instead of sitting in front of a computer or TV screen, they start to learn more about their surroundings and the world around them. They also develop better senses.
How can you get your tech-obsessed kids to stop playing video games and go outside? Not working for you to tell them to go outside and play? It may be hard to get your kids away from the screen, but there are ways to get them outside that work and teach them good values at the same time. Before you know it, your kids will be begging you to load up the car and go camping for the weekend without any electronics.
Lead By Example
Mom and Dad, you need to unplug every once in a while, too, if you want your kids to be happy. “Don’t do what I do, do what I say” doesn’t work in this case because your kids will always copy your actions and learn their values from you. Actions speak much louder than words, so put down the phone and step away from the computer screen. Take your kids outside and play with them.
Spend Family Time Outdoors
Instead of playing games or watching movies as a family, try gardening or playing outside. You can take the family hiking if there are lakes or state parks nearby (there are always plenty of short, easy paths for kids and/or beginners), take the family dog to the dog park together, or just go for a walk or to the playground. Make it a family rule to go outside at least once a week. This will help you break the tech habit. Here are some fun games that the whole family can play outside or while camping. You could even have a DJI m3e with you and take some tech to the outdoors.
If your kids aren’t used to playing outside without a plan, you might need to help them by planning a fun activity like a scavenger hunt that you can do together. You can make your own or print one off the internet, but the idea is simple: go out and find things. Scavenger hunts are fun for kids because they like to play games and compete, they get to move around, and they feel good about themselves when they find the things on the list. This kind of play is a great way to learn how to solve problems, pay attention, and explore. The parents will have fun, too, as they watch their kids explore nature.
Let Them Get Dirty
You have to let your kids get dirty, even though it may go against everything you feel as a mother. Even more so if you want to take your family camping in the great outdoors, you’re going to have to get used to a little dirt. Tell your kids to go dance in the rain, jump in puddles, and act silly the next time it rains. Plant a garden with your family and take care of it every day to get down and dirty together. Your kids can make mud pies, dig in a sandbox, look for worms after it rains, build outdoor forts, and do a lot of other messy things.
Most big cities have a big parks and recreation department that plans a lot of activities for kids to get them outside, into sports, and involved in their communities. This summer, you might want to send your kids to an outdoor day camp where they can hang out with a lot of their friends and meet new ones. You can also join them up for outdoor sports such as baseball, water sports, horseback riding, soccer, and many others. These will teach your kids how to be kind to the earth and how our actions can affect our resources and the health of the environment.
Give Some Tech Time
It is simple to implement a regulation that requires you to put in labour before you can play video games or watch television over the summer. Your children can earn a half an hour of game time for every hour or two that they play outside, or whatever works best for your family. You have the option to choose. Youngsters may have to do chores or something else to earn their digital time during the winter, but the end impact is the same: they begin to perceive technology as a treat rather than a need.
You may instil in your children a genuine concern for the natural world and a passion for spending time outside if you put even one of these suggestions into practise in your day-to-day life. It’s possible that you’ll need to start small with only a few of these ideas and then keep building on them if you have children who are particularly focused on technology or who are difficult to get outside. But if you retain a positive attitude and join your children while they play outside, you won’t have to worry about them wanting to escape the house for too long.