Are you tired of trying to force your kid away from the tablet or TV screen? We understand, and we were in the same boat until recently too. With improvements in technology, it is becoming more and more difficult to make kids go outside and play. They want to stick to those screens all day long.
While the digital space and selected gaming help children learn new ways of doing things, over-consumption is detrimental to their growth. It is crucial to reduce screen time while they’re younger to ensure they grow into healthy, smart, and active individuals.
Why Outdoor Play is Necessary
You are not panicking for no reason. Outdoor play is a necessary part of a child’s life for several reasons, some of which are below.
1. Active Lifestyle
Outdoor play promotes an active lifestyle, which is vital for strengthening bones, muscles, and immunity. Active children have a higher likelihood of being physically stronger with better stamina.
Activities also improve oxygen absorption and will keep their organs healthy.
2. Learning and Development
Interacting with the outside environment helps kids become familiar with a range of naturally occurring things and phenomena. The experience triggers their curiosity and is fundamental for their mind’s healthy learning and development.
They will ask questions and draw inferences, all of which will develop their critical thinking skills.
3. Social Skills
When kids physically play with other kids their age, they naturally develop better communication and negotiation skills. Their shared imagination also helps develop their creative skills, and they become less awkward in social situations.
4. Problem Solving Skills
One of the best benefits of outdoor play is that it develops problem-solving skills in children. While video games can also help with this part, outdoor games allow them to interact with nature and create solutions.
This experience is significant because it helps them get a practical example of their physical abilities and limitations.
How to Make your Kid Play Outside
Now that we have established how vital it is for kids to indulge in outdoor activities and reduce screen time, let’s look at some tips to help you achieve this goal.
1. Make it More Fun
The most obvious first step is to make it more enticing for them to play outdoors. You can do this by arranging a little picnic with your kids’ favourite snacks, inviting their friends over for some outdoor fun, or taking them out to an amusement park.
2. Add a Special Activity
If you can afford to, get them a fancy toy for outdoors that can make them drop the digital devices for some time. The iScoot electric scooter worked for us, so you can try it if your kid is into such activities. Otherwise, find out what outdoorsy activity they love and arrange it if it is reasonable.
3. Play with Them
Kids follow actions a lot more than they follow words. If you want them to go outside and play, you will have to join them to give them company. If you skip out every few minutes, chances are, they will lose interest.
So stay with them and be a part of the world they create from their imagination.
4. Repeat Activities they Like Best
You’ll realise they focus more on a specific set of games rather than the others. This knowledge can help create a long-term routine if you acknowledge it and allow your kids to partake in the physical activity they like best.
If you try forcing them to follow your suggested methods, they will feel obligated, lose interest, and return to their console or computer games.
5. Make it Family Fun Time
The best way to reinforce an active lifestyle in the family is by making it into a family affair. Organise an outdoor family trip every fortnight, and head out together on a field trip full of fun and activities. You can go fishing, hiking, or camping, depending on your family’s preference.
However, be careful and ensure you convince your family to be a part of the routine. If everyone is not participating, it will give a contradictory message, which you should avoid at all points.
With growing concern about children exhibiting early addictive behaviour for the digital space, you should safeguard your children. Encourage them to be more active outdoors, and create the right balance between digital and outdoor space.
The guidance will likely help them in the future, but you need to begin with the basics.