Growing up, I was an outdoor kid. It used to be tough for my parents to get us to stop playing and come into the house; and today we find it difficult to make our kids go and play out of the house.
The world is changing so quickly. Our kids are so much attached to electronic devices like tablets computers, video games or mobile phones and not to forget television shows. 40 hours a week is spent with school activities and 20 hours spent with the hypnotic entertainment of media. Outdoor play or activities has become insignificant in their lives.
There are huge benefits of playing in the outdoors and fresh air has been inscribed as one of them for generations. Getting dirty is healthier than playing with electronic devices. Outdoor sports help to reduce laziness in children; obesity is kept at bay and children stay active, fit and healthy.
Below I have jotted down some useful ways for getting your kids to exploring the outdoors:
- Encourage them by explaining the benefits of outdoor games i.e. it will keep them healthy and increase their physical strength.
- Promote cycling in kids and if possible we should also cycle along with them so that they feel motivated. Also let your child go cycling in the local playground along with other kids.
- Teach your child traditional games you used to play like hide and seek (chupa chupi), lagori, Kho Kho.and then see the smile on their faces.
- Enroll your kids in outdoor sport activities that interest him/her. It will also help your child become more active and energetic thereby motivating him/her to head outdoors to use and burn that energy.
- We should encourage our kids to explore their natural surroundings. This external exploration paves the way for introspection which in turn inspires curiosity
- Take your kids to parks and other natural areas, allow them to explore. Let them decide which trails to take. Stay nearby for safety, but don't interfere or help unless asked.
- You might like to try instituting a daily ‘green hour‘ as consistently spending time outdoors everyday is important to encouraging a child’s engagement with natural places as playful spaces.
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