21 Dec Encouraging your kids to get outside over the holidays
The holidays are for spending time with friends and family. But what do you do when your kids just want to stay inside and play on their screens? With advancements in technology, screen addiction is becoming more and more prevalent, leading kids to swap outdoor play for indoor gaming.
To be the best parent to your child, it’s important that you understand why outdoor play is so important and how you can encourage even the most disinterested kids to get outside over the holidays.
The importance of time spent outdoors
There are many benefits of spending time outdoors, especially for developing kids and teens.
Firstly, there are the physical benefits. Kids need to run, jump and climb to improve their physical development. As well as this, regular exercise at an early age helps them find enjoyment in an active lifestyle and carry it on throughout their lives.
Secondly, there are the social benefits. When kids become too reliant on technology, it diminishes their ability to form deep and meaningful connections with their peers, especially when this behaviour is learned at a young age.
Spending time outdoors allows your child to exercise their imagination, work as a team and establish strong social skills which will benefit them throughout their lifetime.
There are also the emotional and intellectual benefits of outdoor play, like using all five senses, improving communication skills, aiding brain development, and much more.
Tips for encouraging your kids to get outdoors these holidays
To ensure your child has the best start in life, encourage time spent outdoors these holidays.
1. Lead by example
Kids mirror their parents. If you want your child to live an active and healthy lifestyle, make sure you’re leading by example.
2. Make it fun
Make outdoor activities fun by sparking their imagination. Arrange a playdate, treasure hunt and visit the newest playground.
You might also like to treat them to a new toy to spark even more excitement.
3. Get them involved in sports
Sports are a great way to encourage regular exercise outdoors. Start the conversation with your child and ask if they are interested in any particular sports.
You might also like to take them along to a game to get them excited about joining a team.
4. Let them decide where they’d like to go
Planning a beach day or mountain hike with friends or family is a great way to spend a full day outside. This time, let your kids decide where they’d like to go.
When you give your kids the power, it gets them excited about the day ahead. Leave the screens at home, pack some lunch and enjoy your big day out together.
Make time spent outdoors a priority
Welsh artist and sculptor John Cleal once said, ‘we must teach our children to smell the earth, to taste the rain, to touch the wind, to see things grow, to hear the sun rise and night fall – to care’.
If you’re concerned about your child not spending enough time outdoors, you might like to consider enrolling them in an empowering boot camp for kids.
Our Junior Leader camp is run by our Defence Force veterans and is designed to encourage kids to participate in activities that teach valuable lessons about courage, resilience, respect and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.