Kids need outdoor activity time just as much, or even more so, than indoor time. Here are some ideas to help them get active outdoors!
Your average child today is a bit of a couch potato. In addition, they spend so much time connected to one screen or another that a parent could be forgiven for thinking that it’s a steady stream of data rather than food, sleep and water that’s powering them. There’s no doubt that the ubiquity of our digital devices and abiding love of television can be a real impediment when it comes to raising healthy and active kids with a love of the outdoors and a respect for their environment.
If you’re finding it harder and harder these days to get kids off the couch and away from their screens it can be a source of real frustration for a parent. Nonetheless, with these handy tips you’ll get your kids off the sofa and back into their natural habitat before you know it…
Manage screen time rather than outlawing it
First of all, it’s important not to glamourise screen time by adopting a prohibitionist stance. The more you prohibit something, the more appealing you make it to kids. Instead, treat screen time like cream cakes. The occasional one every now and then is just fine as part of a balanced diet… But you wouldn’t want your kids eating them all day every day. Screen time should be managed rather than prohibited. Reading on tablets, watching films and playing videogames are all healthy activities with some developmental benefits so long as they’re enjoyed in moderation.
Show them the awesome stuff that’s on their doorstep
A common complaint raised by kids is that there’s “nothing to do” in your neighbourhood. Don’t let this excuse lead them to a sedentary lifestyle! Show them how much awesome stuff there is on your doorstep by taking them on regular family days out. Show them the beauty of your local sights and take them to the best parks and playgrounds your area has to offer. Take them anywhere that isn’t a mall! Show them that there’s a plethora of boredom busting activities that don’t cost a penny and they’ll be far more likely to enjoy your local amenities of their own accord.
Make use of your local leisure centre
Sports and physical activities are great ways for kids to let off steam, release their seemingly boundless stores of energy, make new friends and keep themselves in shape. Your local leisure centre is a fantastic resource and one which your kids should be taught to treasure. Whether it’s booking out a badminton court for them and their friends or simply taking them for a free swim in the pool, the leisure centre is a safe space in which you can encourage your kids to sample the joys and benefits of a physically active lifestyle.
A rainy day is no excuse
Your kids may see a rainy or snowy day as a perfectly valid excuse to spend a Saturday afternoon with their eyes glued to a screen, but the truth is that it’s both easy and fun to stay active within the home. Transform your hallway into a bowling alley with empty drinks bottles as pins. Create an obstacle course of furniture or indulge in that old favourite “the floor is lava”.
The amount of fun and physically active games you can play indoors is limited only by your imagination! What are some of your favourite (active) ways to spend time with your kids in the great outdoors?
This was a collaborative post and contains affiliate links.