Screen time is not necessarily a bad thing for kids. In fact, there are a lot of really great skills that can come from kids getting involved in tech. Think about it: they have so many more learning tools at their disposal than ever before! It makes sense that so many kids love using tech as an outlet. However, there is also something to be said for children having natural outlets to play and experience the world around them. Just like anything, it’s all about balance.
If you are trying to get your tech-loving kid to play outside, here are some of the ways that you can make that happen.
Keep Things Exciting
Children who have a lot of screen time often become addicted to it because they are used to constant stimulation for all of their senses. Colors, sounds, and constantly changing images keep kids engaged consistently.
This is why it’s important to keep things exciting when you get your kids outside. Make sure they know how much fun it can be to play outdoors, and they might find themselves gravitating towards it naturally just like they do with the screen.
But Let Them Have Quiet
On the other side of the spectrum, however, one of the reasons why it’s important to get connected to the world outside is taking a pause from that constant stimulation. If your kids are used to always looking at the screen and consuming content, it could be extremely good for them to have a little bit of peace and quiet.
This might even initially be a little uncomfortable for those who aren’t used to it. Take it step by step and adjust to it slowly.
Bring Games Along
One thing that many kids feel connected to when it comes to their technology is the gaming aspect. When you bring along board games, card games, or even puzzles to entertain you while you guys are outside, it can help give the child something to focus on and feel a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, this can help break social barriers with other kids or build connections within your family.
Let Them Make Important Choices
Another way you can help kids feel empowered to go outside is to allow them a space to make important choices within their own activities. Maybe hiking isn’t their thing, even if you personally enjoy it. Let them try out different activities, like bike riding, gardening, or even just taking a book outside to read.
If you tell them to do something directly, it can sometimes come off as a chore or a loss of their autonomy. However, when you give them options for their activities and some ideas, you can help them feel more actualized and enjoy their time outside even more.
Give Them Space
One thing that can go a long way with kids is to give them space. Although organized play definitely has its place, one of the great things about being outside is the ability to just be. Let your child wander, explore, and pursue their own understanding of the setting around them. People don’t often get the opportunity to do this, so giving your child a space to have this experience can be extremely valuable.
Getting Kids Outdoors
Encouraging your kids to spend more time outdoors can sometimes feel like a giant task when TV and video games are standing in your way. However, there are so many ways that you can encourage your children to put down the screens and spend some time in nature. In fact, we might all do well to think about these techniques a little bit more.