Put down the screens!
In this day and age of Facebook, screen time and YouTube videos, real “face time” can get lost in the shuffle. And that’s too bad. Because growing children need time with other people to learn how to socialize and how to interact. They need time away from their screens so their growing minds and bodies can develop.
So why not plan some outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy? You’ll get the kids moving, you’ll bond as a family and — best of all — everyone can take a break from their screens for a while.
Need some ideas? Here are a few ways to get outside with the kids, have some fun and make some memories. No electronics required!
- Spend the day at the park — You can pack a picnic lunch and make it a whole-day event. Choose a park with lots of activities, like nature trails or guided walks. If you have younger kids, look for one with a play area and a wide variety of playground equipment. All of these different choices will keep your kids happy and active all day long. If they get tired of one activity, simply point them to the next.
- Head to the hills — If you live in the city, time spent in nature can be a refreshing change of pace — for you and your kids. Do a little research. See if you can find some wilderness areas nearby. You can plan a weekend campout, complete with tent, sleeping bags and ghost stories by the campfire. If that sounds too ambitious, consider a day trip instead. A day-long hike through the woods is a great way to experience the wild world and still be back in your own comfy bed by nightfall.
- Take a side — On different teams, that is. Start by choosing your family’s favorite sport: basketball, football, soccer. Then issue a weekend challenge: Mom’s team versus Dad’s team! Who will win? Then just gather the equipment you need, head to a vacant schoolyard, and let the games begin. Make allowances for participants of different ages, of course, and always remember, it’s not really about who wins or loses, it’s about being together and having fun.
- Rock it old school — Still having trouble getting the kids away from their electronics? Tempt them with some outdoor games they may not have tried before. The novelty alone might just pique their interest. Try a simple backyard game like croquet, badminton or even ping-pong. They’re all fairly easy to set up and learn. After that, just enjoy the fun!
- Keep it cool — In the summertime, there’s no better outdoor activity than a waterpark. And, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Many public parks have fun water features running during the summer months. Best of all, with all that water flying around, there’s little chance of anyone sneaking a peek at their smartphone.
Don’t wait till your kids are grown up and gone. Get outside and make some special memories today!