MAKE OUTDOOR TIME A PRIORITY IN YOUR FAMILY
July 23, 2018
From social media to texting to online gaming, screen time has become today’s leading form of entertainment for kids – and even many adults. While it’s ok to spend some time on our devices, being glued to our screens keeps us from enjoying valuable in-person moments with friends and family and stops us from appreciating all that nature has to offer.
Here are 10 great reasons to spend more time outside:
- allows opportunities to connect with friends and family
- relieves stress of school or work
- improves physical and mental health
- sharpens focus – especially good for kids with attention deficit
- helps develop healthier eating habits
- improves vision and short term memory
- sharper thinking and increased creativity
- strengthens immune system
- more energy – better night’s sleep
- many activities don’t cost anything
Tip – The most effective way to get your kids to go outside and have fun is for you to lead by example. Kids who see their parents unplugging and finding joy in nature are more likely to follow suit.
Here are 10 simple outdoor activities perfect for connecting with nature and each other:
- PLANT A GARDEN. A small flower, vegetable or herb garden is a great way for your kids to spend time outside and feel grown up as they help care for something.
- HIKE OR BIKE. Through your neighbourhood or on a trail, this is a wonderful opportunity to spend time outdoors together getting exercise and observing nature.
- HAVE A PICNIC. Have your kids help prepare and pack a picnic lunch, then take your basket and head to a park or even your backyard to eat together.
- GO TO THE BEACH. Get some pails and shovels and spend an afternoon making castles in the sand and splashing in the water.
- HAVE A NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT. Make a list of things to find in nature. Include one or two “unusual” items to make it more challenging.
- LOOK AT THE CLOUDS. Lie on the ground and see what interesting shapes you see in the clouds. Make up a story incorporating all the things you find.
- PLAY CATCH. Yes, that’s right, just grab a ball and throw it back and forth. Simple, but will create long-lasting memories.
- DRAW. Use chalk to graffiti your driveway or sidewalk or get some paper or canvas and draw or paint what you see in nature.
- HAVE A CAMPFIRE. Gather around a roaring fire to roast some hot dogs and eat delicious s’mores. Have the kids make up spooky stories or funny songs to share.
- EAT ICE CREAM. From your freezer or an ice cream truck or parlour, take the family outside to bond over their favourite flavour!
At Kids Inc. our campers spend time participating in a variety of outdoor activities. When your kids are at home, we encourage you to get them playing in nature and that you will often join them to create wonderful family memories!