People say that kids today are being raised by video games and the internet – but those are the people who don’t have kids (or whose kids are grown-ups already). Only parents today know how difficult it is to raise children in the digital era. In any case, this era brings so many benefits to our lives. Our children are able to use a computer independently at the age of three, and they are gaining some extremely useful skills early on. Besides, with the development of the technology that is crucial for our jobs (and by extension, our lives), the parenting methods need to develop as well.
However, that doesn’t mean that children are okay when left to their own devices (both literal and proverbial). Spending so much time doing physically passive stuff can really harm their health and this is where the parents come into play. It is our job to make sure that they are spending time well, and that their bodies and brains are developing as they should. That means allowing them their free time, but making it constructive and useful. For example, instead of a repetitive, mind-numbing type of YouTube video, you can offer them an animated movie. Instead of spending time indoors, you can make the outdoors a bit more interesting. Because many of us have problems with that last bit, here are some ideas to make the great outdoors a bit more tempting for your kids.
1. Catch the creepy-crawlies
All children like learning about wildlife. While it would be impractical to take them to a safari every time you want to go out, you can always catch the little animals that are available everywhere. Ladybugs, caterpillars, spiders, worms, and other creepy-crawlies can make the outdoors so much more interesting, and catching them can be so much fun. This activity will help your kid get familiar with the world around him or her, and deal with any bug-related fears they might have. Make sure you’re always gentle to the little creatures, in order to show the child that all animals should be respected and treated well.
2. Organize a scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are always so much fun, and you can organize them anywhere – in a park, in the yard, on a vacation, and so on. This is an activity that can be incredibly useful, and you can find plenty of ideas online if you don’t have the time to think of something yourself.
3. Find Dory
Go swimming with a twist. Lose something small and blue in the pool, and have the children look for it. A Dory figurine shouldn’t be too hard to find, and it will really boost the fun factor of the game. In any case, if you have a bigger group, you can split into two groups and compete, and the parents can also join! If you have a pool in your backyard, there is no excuse – but do make sure you invest into great pool fencing installation, because the combo of little children and an unattended pool is a recipe for a disaster. Swimming is a great and healthy activity, and it can help you have a great time with your kids.
4. Keep your eyes on the stars…
…And your feet on the ground“. While your kids may be too young to understand the quote by T. Roosevelt, you are never too young to enjoy the starry sky. Organize a nighttime picnic (which is in itself already very exciting), and go someplace dark. Learn the constellations beforehand, and then teach them to your kids, with the accompanying Greek myths. It’ll boost the imagination of your child, and it will be a fantastic bonding time.
5. Find your inner Pocahontas
No matter how much the times change, kids will always like stories about the Indians. Build a bonfire and pitch a tent in order to create the atmosphere, and let the children paint their faces and bodies. They can play and chase around, while the moms sit around the fire, roast marshmallows or hotdogs, and enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat. Of course, because fires are dangerous, make sure the children are under constant supervision, in order to keep everybody safe and prevent injuries or accidents.
While the children enjoy the time they spend indoors, the outdoors can be equally fun. Make an effort to find activities your children will enjoy and don’t be afraid to enjoy them too! Organize play dates and spend the time with other moms and dads, or spend a day out with your family – it’ll be worth it in the long run, and you’ll find instant gratification in those activities as well.
Sarah Jessica Smith is a young blogger from Sydney. She is in love with life and all the things that can make her daily routine easier. She loves to write about home improvement, lifestyle, and all the small things that make life such a great adventure.
Thanks to Sarah for her guest post.
You can catch my posts here on kids activities and reviews.