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Meghan Ham

Remember What It Was Like To Play Outside?

Remember What It Was Like To Play Outside?

As parents, when we look at our kids, we can easily observe a huge difference between our routine and theirs. In our childhood, we spent a lot of time playing outside, but today's generation spends most of its time sitting in front of a screen. Most kids develop the habit of watching screens in the early years of their life.

Let us discuss how it is affecting the coming generations and how we can make things better.

How our childhood was very different from our kids’ childhood.

Most parents today were born in the 1990s or before that. That was when there was not a lot of interference with technology in our daily life routines. There were computers, but the other gadgets were not as prevalent as they are today.

So, kids were spending more time outdoors and playing outside activities. However, things are pretty different today. Today, as soon as a baby is born, he is surrounded by screens and gadgets. That is why today's kids know how to use smartphones at a young age and may not be too good at sports and games.

Why has it become a problem now?

Simply put, when kids do not spend enough time playing outdoors, they can welcome a lot of health issues, including the following:

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Obesity
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression

Apart from these, kids can feel socially awkward and find it hard to communicate with other kids. These issues can drastically affect their lives when those kids grow up to become adults. That's why it has become a problem now.

What are the benefits of playing outside or outdoor activities?

Playing outside and participating in outdoor activities seems fun, but there are many benefits. So, here we will discuss some vital benefits of exploring the outdoor world that can secure a healthy future for our kids and their generation.

Nature helps reduce stress.

One of the biggest issues kids deal with today is stress and anxiety, which leads to depression. Studies show that getting close to nature helps in reducing stress and anxiety. It is because nature offers solace and comfort and gives a feeling of well-being. Staying close to nature also helps in healing by making a person refreshed and relaxed. It is one of the biggest benefits of outdoor activities.

Outdoor activities make kids physically stronger.

The outdoor activities, whether sports or any other games, help make kids physically strong. The following are a few ways by which kids can be stronger by participating more in outdoor activities:

  • Enhanced motor skills
  • Better BMI
  • Enhanced muscle strength
  • Better bone health
  • Good growth rate
  • Reduced obesity

All of these collectively make your kids physically stronger and positively impact their overall health.

Outdoor activities make kids mentally stronger.

Outdoor activities also have a positive impact on the mental well-being of kids. Participating in outdoor activities makes kids use all 5 senses and improve them. It fosters independence in kids, who can learn to self-reflect and build resilience. Kids also get better at improving their interpersonal skills along with better brain development. Their overall learning space expands, making them mentally stronger.

Self-awareness and social development enhance.

Most kids today lack the important aspect of social awareness, and through outdoor activities, it becomes better. Kids become better at observing things and reasoning their skills. Playing outdoor helps them get better at communication and helps their social development.

Overall, the peer-to-peer relationship among kids improves, which is extremely helpful in practical life. On top of everything, those kids' gratitude and appreciation for the environment get better.

How can we make our digital kids more attracted to outdoor activities?

To play games and participate in outdoor activities is usually considered boring by today's kids. It may be difficult, but it is not impossible to make these digital kids attracted to playing games and outdoor activities. Explained below are a few ideas in which you can engage your kids more in healthy outdoor activities.

Tell them that outdoor does not only mean the backyard of their home.

For many kids, the outdoor only means the things they get to do in their backyard. Tell them there is a whole world to explore. You can take your kids fishing or hiking with you or go for a walk in the nearby park. While doing this, they can still play their favorite outdoor games in the backyard. It will be a great way of engaging your kids in outdoor activities.

Keep your kids engaged in different sports.

The next thing that you can do is to introduce them to different sports. There are a lot of options, including:

  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Cycling
  • Skating, etc.

See which sport your kid is interested in and engage them with that sport. You can play with them or make them attend some sports academy. Either way, you will increase your kids' opportunities for outdoor activities.

Introduce your kids to newer games and activities

There could be many things that your kids already know and now feel bored about. It means that you now need to introduce some new things to your kids. Make sure to focus on things that your kids will be easily attracted to, like the following:

  • Kite flying
  • Swimming
  • Sack race
  • Tug of war
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Gardening
  • Rope skipping, etc.

Introducing new games is a great way to keep your kids attracted to outdoor activities.

There is nothing bad in going outside and doing nothing

Going out and not doing anything is also better than staying inside in front of a screen. So, take your kids for some relaxing time at the beach sunbathing, so they never get vitamin D deficiency. When your kids are not in the mood for some activity, you can take them out this way. When at the beach, they can play several beach games.

Final Remarks:

Technology brings many benefits to our daily activities, but it is not that good for us in different ways. Excess to everything is bad, and today's kids use technology excessively while not giving enough importance to outdoor activities and playing games. The older generations spent most of their childhood playing games outside, and it is time to make our kids do the same, considering how beneficial it is for their future.
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