If you think back to the days when you were growing up, you likely have fond memories of playing outdoors until your parents forced you to come in. The winter was perfect for outdoors because of the snow; the fall was perfect because of the leaves; the spring and summer were perfect because you could play whatever came your imagination devised!
These times spent outdoors may have been shared with your siblings, or perhaps you shared them with other kids who lived in your neighborhood. And you would play sports or play make believe with these friends and siblings all the way until dark.
Nowadays, however, it seems like a lot of kids never go outside unless they are walking to or from school. And as for the rest of their free time, they spend it plopped down on the couch watching television or playing video games, or they sit staring at a computer screen.
When children play outside, they cut down on the potential for childhood obesity, and they become healthier and even more mentally strong; while television, video games, and computers are fine, they should be used in moderation. If your goal is to encourage your own children to begin to play outside, here are a few things you can try doing.
One of the things that is important for you to recognize is the fact that most children do not want to be “told” what to do; do not “force” your children to play outside, as they will then be less likely to enjoy it. What you should do instead is create opportunities for your children to “discover” the joys of playing outdoors. This can be done in a couple of simple ways:
1) Limit the amount of “media time” they are allowed each day;
2) Play outside with them!
Once you put a limit on the amount of time your children are allowed each day with the computer and the television, they will begin to naturally gravitate toward the outdoors. And your children will be drawn out of the house – and will be started on playing outside – when you go out there and play with them.
There are some children who will take to the outdoors quite naturally and automatically; but even if this is not the case with your children, do not despair – as you follow these tips, your children will begin to play outside more and more.
- GoGo Time: Outdoor Family Fun (thehappyhousewife.com)
- Childhood obesity: A parenting failure? (20114t.wordpress.com)
- Quit the Video Games and Get Fit! 7 Tips to Promote Exercise in Your Children! (tech2date.com)
- Health, Conservation, Youth-Serving Groups To Surgeon General: Make Outdoor Time A Health Priority (prweb.com)
- Video game camp slammed for promoting inactivity (cbc.ca)
- Can Kids Stay Healthy in Front of a Computer? DoCrew.com says Yes (prweb.com)
Category: Healthy Lifestyle