Kids these days are exposed to outdoor activities less than previous generations. According to a study in 2013 reported by the Wall Street Journal, 72 percent of children 8 years old and below have used mobile devices at least once. This is one of the reasons behind the growing epidemic of childhood obesity all around the world.
The solution? Give your children more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Outdoor activities for children come in many forms, from letting them run around the house or getting them to like gardening. Activities done outside the confines of the house expose your children to natural sunlight and encourage them to socialise with other kids on a personal level.
Looking for ways to influence your kids into doing more outdoor activities? Here are fun outdoor games that will let your kids enjoy and learn at the same time:
Hopscotch and other similar Chalk-Based Games
Aside from physical endurance, games played on the streets give your kid the opportunity to spend time with their peers. Games like hopscotch or twist ‘n turn teach your children some very essential values like organization, planning, and problem solving. What’s great about these types of games is that they only need a chalk and a safe open street to play, which will cost you practically nothing!
Is your child slow in maths? One way of encouraging them to learn more about maths is by coming up with games that will let them enjoy the topic.
You may try the Easter Egg Race from Education.com. This involves two teams of children who will race towards a pile of plastic easter eggs and get the exact number of eggs that answers a simple arithmetic question. For example, if you ask them “5 plus 3”, then the representatives of each team should get the correct number of eggs from the pile and present it to you.
Remember that learning doesn’t have to be boring! All you need is a little creativity to turn things around.
You can always start with games that are safe for them to play. Even though most sports involve rough physical exertion, some of them are safe enough for younger kids. Some examples include badminton, golf, and table tennis.
(As for the latter, they may grow up as adults and be reminded of table tennis when they play with beer pong balls!) Sports activities are great ways to activate not only their physical strength but also their mental preparedness to plan strategies.
Since they’re already outdoors, why not play with a little water? Parenting.com offers a list of water-based summer games that encourage family-friendly fun. These games are also great ways to bond with your kids, because this kind of play is fun for just about everybody in the family.
Of course, you still need to teach your children about the importance of water conservation. Even if you’re somehow wasting water, tell them that you’re encouraging this kind of exercise in order for them to enjoy not only the relaxing benefits of water but also the comfort of playing with family and friends.
Playing outside the house may seem like a simple way of diverting your children away from social media and too much mobile use. However, providing them with the right opportunities and ideas to play outdoors will develop much more than brain power.
~ Thanks to John for the Guest Post!
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