Ask your mom, dad, or grandparents what they did for fun. Surely, they have lots of fun stories to tell. Today, it is a far more common sight for children to be holding their cell phones or an electronic device of some sort, instead of enjoying outdoor play.
Because of the increasing encroachment of technology, the use of electronic gadgets has surpassed outdoor play as a form of entertainment. While it keeps them inside, it also means kids are less exposed to nature and the great outdoors. They also tend to be more sheltered and less capable of surviving in a variety of terrains than the previous generations. However, there are still ways to encourage your kids to go outside and explore the beauty of walking along a stream or hiking in an alpine area. There are lovely reasons to encourage your children to take nature trips with you.
The Value of Play
Kids usually spend a lot of time playing — physically or even with a digital device it is still play. Even in kindergarten, recess or controlled play is encouraged among little children and is often looked forward to by students and used a reward or positive reinforcement for good behavior. Yet, we see as students age, recess and play is replaced by other traditionally accepted academic studies.
We now know that play is vital for growing children, for teaching independent thinking, developing reasoning abilities and for developing and establishing confidence. Playing helps in brain development and lessens the risk of health problems. It also strengthens their resistance against common illnesses. Plus, playing can contribute to children’s academic performance. Outdoor play is also shown to improve improves children’s social skills. They get to play with their peers and enjoy being kids. Let them explore their surroundings and see the world with their eyes.
Planning for an outdoor trip for kids
One way to help your children learn and be entertained is to embark on an outdoor trip with them. Here are some tips to make it easier.
Keep it simple.
Make the activity as simple and straightforward as possible. When planning fora hiking activity, for example, choose a route that is less strenuous and uncomplicated. Remember that these kinds of activities should be about the experience they will never forget, nature is awesome.
Bring the essentials.
You should bring the essential items for kids such as wipes, a kid-friendly camera, binoculars, and other tools that can be useful for them. To ensure safety, let them wear a GPS watch or a safety whistle if they get lost. Also, choose the right clothes to keep them dry and warm.
Other kid-friendly activities
There are also fun indoor activities that your kids will like. However, it is better to let your children enjoy the outdoors from time to time. Here are some other tips for fun outdoor activities for your kids.
- Let children get dirty. Let them build their own garden area, or let them help you maintain your front yard.
- Organize a kid’s play day. Let your kids and their friends have a playdate the neighborhood park or a local pool.
- Take a family walk around your neighborhood to stretch your legs and stay connected to your community.
Most importantly, your children simply want to know that they are loved, cared for and to spend time with you. Spending time outdoors together is a great way to do that. Take time to create those memories and create moments will last a lifetime.