Research shows that kids today spend half the amount of time outside that their parents did, despite the fact that most parents with children from the ages of 14 believe that their kids should spend more time outdoors.
With the December holidays approaching your children are going to be home for a while and need some stimulation to keep them occupied.
I still remember the days when I would come home from school and after finishing my homework I would run outside and start climbing trees and playing on the swings.
I would cycle around the block and take my dog for a walk as I waited for night to come and head back inside for supper.
Times have changed
While the advancement of technology has created wonders such as the PlayStation and Xbox as well as entertainment such as Smartphones and Netflix, kids today are less inclined to leave the house and spend their time outdoors.
Kids will spend an average of four hours outdoors while their parents have spent more than double the amount of time outside.
Outdoors are better for your health
Children who go outside to play and spend time with friends have been found to have better health as well as social life.
It has also been found that playing outside helps with self-esteem and relationships with classmates and peers in school.
The outdoors allow for children to expand their creativity and build confidence as it provides them with a larger and more open field for play.
Senses become a lot more stimulated from the sights, smells and touch of the outdoors than it would be playing video games.
It has also been noted that children who suffer from ADHD are able to focus better and are more motivated to move when playing outside.
Get them outdoors before High School
The key to getting your kids hooked on playing outdoors and spending more time outside on their own, is starting them off early.
Waiting until they are in High School will mean it’s too late and they might not enjoy participating in outdoor sports and activities; which is compulsory in most schools today.
If you get them outside and start playing different sports with them they might find something they are skilled at or enjoy a lot at a young age and have an easier time picking a sport in school.
Be an example
There is o better way to get your child to spend time outdoors than to simply go out and join them. Show them how much fun it can be and what interesting things they can enjoy by going outside.
Start a little flower or vegetable garden or play a game of soccer or catch in the yard or at a local park.
There are a number of hobbies you can show to them outside, from hiking to tree-climbing, to stargazing or birdwatching, the best way to let them know how big the world outside can be is simply to show them.
By: Jesica Slabbert
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