It’s a sad statistic to share, but did you know that over 65 percent of parents surveyed claimed that they played outside every day during their childhood, whereas this only accounts for 30 percent of kids today. That’s a 35 percent drop in the number of children who engage in outdoor activities in the modern age.
While we can blame technology on most of this, it’s also up to you as a parent to engage with your children and teach them the benefits of playing outside.
But, how do you pry your child away from the TV or the tablet long enough to get them interested in playing outside? Simple, you’re in charge. So, maybe it’s time to take a trip.
With all of the outdoor recreation facilities around the country, it’s almost hard to believe that children are spending more time indoors. But, when you consider that adults are just as guilty of this as children, maybe the blame shouldn’t be squarely placed on technology.
Here are a few ways you can bond with your child outdoors, and unplug for a bit as well.
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If you have a child who hisses every time he or she sees the sun, maybe you need to get that vampire out of the house. Going on a fishing trip is a great way to not only teach your child about nature but teaching your child how to fish could spark a new interest in outdoor activity.
You don’t even have to take a long “trip” if you don’t want to. Just buy a fishing tackle kit for beginners and get them out to your local pond, lake, stream, or river. It’s really this simple.
Fishing teaches patience, and in a world where everyone increasingly demands to be handed everything immediately, a little patience taught can do a greater good for the whole of society.
Hike a Nature Trail
Nature Parks are a great place to take the kids to play outside. Even if they want to simply run around for an hour or so, just getting them out of the house and actively playing with them will entice them to want to get out more.
Now, if you want to really teach your child when you’re out at the park, choose an area where you have a well-marked nature trail.
Many of these will have descriptive epitaphs set up near different foliage, trees and where changes in elevation are evident. You never know, you might be able to nurture an interest in nature, and this will make your child want to get out of the house more often.
Go To the Park
While nature trails are a great place to learn, your local park is the perfect place to play and bond with your child.
It’s almost unbelievable that today most parks sit alone, with the sounds of laughter and play absent. In fact, it’s not uncommon to drive by a park where you once played as a child and see not a soul in sight. Again, we live in a different time than that of the late 20th century, but the parks are still there, waiting for you to bring your children.
Parks have green open spaces, playgrounds, trails, and areas to recreate while your kids play as well. Some even have Bookshare depositories where you can choose a book to read to your child while at the park. The goal here is to get your child interested in playing outside more often.
Studies show that less outdoor activity has helped to create numerous health problems, ranging from childhood obesity to Vitamin D deficiency. Getting them outside and playing with them is the best way to get them interested in the outdoors, and to create memories that you both will cherish for years to come.
All in all, there are many ways to bond with your children outdoors. But, getting them out of the house is going to be the key to doing so. Good luck!