Activities to Get Kids Off the Electronics and into Nature

kids-having-funIn this day and age, it has become more difficult to get children to play outside. Most kids would much rather sit on the couch and play video games. It is estimated that children spend about 55 hours per week inside including school and using electronics in the home. Unfortunately, this isn't very healthy for kids, either mentally or physically.

Because of this, it is important for parents to encourage their children to play either in the backyard or on playground at a local park. Going outside to play has a number of different benefits.

  • It prevents vitamin D deficiency because the skin uses sunlight to make the vitamin.
  • Kids get the exercise they need, which helps prevent obesity and the possibility of other health problems.
  • The endorphins released from exercise help alleviate stress and can increase attention span.
  • Playing outdoors encourages imagination.
  • Outdoor play requires a child to engage all five senses.

Although video games and computers do have educational benefits, there is no substitute for playing outdoors. However, some parents may be concerned with the dangers of playing outside, but there are a number of ways to get your kids outside and still keep them safe.

Ways to Get Your Kids Outside

1. One of the easiest ways to safely get your kids out the door and into nature is by creating an inviting backyard for them. Adding playground equipment like a swing set or seesaw can help motivate kids to put down the video game controller, and since they are in the backyard, it's easy to keep an eye on them.

2. Another great way to get the kids outside and in touch with nature is to go camping. You can also "camp out" in the backyard. It is cheaper than going to an actual camp ground, and you don't have to worry about bears and other wildlife.

3. Going hiking is a fantastic way to get the kids outside and get them moving. It can also be an educational experience, especially if you go hiking in a national forest or local park. Take a plant identification guide with you and have your child locate some of the local flora. Night hiking can also be fun. Kids can learn about moon cycles as well as constellations and nocturnal insects.

4. Planting a garden is another way to get the kids involved with nature. They will learn about pollination, plant life cycles, even the nutritional value of plants. Planting a vegetable garden can help your child make healthier choices about the foods they eat as they get older, too.

5. Bike riding used to be quite commonplace, but some kids never learn how to ride a bike these days. Go for a bike ride in the neighborhood or at a local park. It is great exercise as well as a fun activity for the whole family. Just be sure to wear your protective gear when riding a bike to prevent injuries.

6. Picnics are another great way to get the whole family outside. You can take a walk or bike ride to a local park or even have the picnic in your own backyard. It's a relaxing way to enjoy nature. Why not watch the clouds and pick out the different shapes you see? Cloud watching is a fantastic way to get kids to use their imagination.

7. Berry picking is terrific for teaching your kids about how fruits and vegetables make it to the grocery store. You also get to eat what you pick. If you have any berries left over, you can make watercolor paints and create art with them.

These are just a few of the ways to get your kids outside and active in nature. If you use your imagination, there are plenty of outdoor activities that you can enjoy, even in your own backyard.

If you have any questions, please ask below!