Parenting, like most things in life, is all a matter of balance. While it’s not right to demonise use of technology- there can be some apparent developmental gains to be made in letting children use technology– so time spent on the iPad needs to be balanced out.
Encouraging our kids to get outdoors and make the most of the world around them is a journey, and by setting up fun activities as a family that make the most of our natural environment, you can create some precious family time memories, while also finding that balance. Here are just a few ideas to make your days out sparkle:
Go on a treasure hunt
Revealing the wonder of the natural world can be as simple as making a game out of an ordinary nature walk. Create a list of flora and fauna that are all around your natural area – leaves, flowers, birds and small animals you are likely to spot and have your children do a treasure hunt to locate these all around you. A fun trip outdoors like this will have more benefits than just adding a glow to their cheeks – it also requires observational and problem-solving skills that will get them thinking. Make the outdoors special to them by creating a map of their favourite spots along the way.
Fly a kite
What could be a more cheerful activity outdoors than flying kites together? These traditional toys are great fun, whether you buy one or even have fun making your own from construction straws and crepe paper. There is a range of coordination and even engineering skills involved in making your own kite, and running around outside flying them is lots of exercise without seeming it. Find out more information on how to get started with family kite flying at stuffkidslove.net.
Grab some chalk
An effortless way to engage young minds in the outside world is by giving them some chalk and letting the sidewalk become their canvas. What art can they create inspired by the features of the natural landscape? There are also endless spelling, counting and physical games that can be played when you have that drawing board – from traditional playground favourites like hopscotch to hangman and connect four. Let their little imaginations run wild, or try incorporating natural elements like leaves and pebbles into drawings.
Have a campout
Vacations in the great outdoors can be a happy childhood memory for many of us, but if you don’t have the time or budget to go on a trip, or have younger children that need their home comforts, a great way to get started is by camping out in your own backyard! The Great American Backyard Campout has lots of ideas for fun games and activities to be enjoyed doing this, but you can’t beat telling stories by torchlight and even having your children make shadow puppets to use in putting on a show.
Making the most of outdoors can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, and once you’ve had a taste of all the family fun to be had outdoors, you’ll be looking for any opportunity!