With summer just around the corner, have you decided yet how to keep your child learning while having fun? The pandemic is winding down and it would soon be safe again to go out and enjoy the outdoors.
You don’t want your kid to stay cooped up indoors. Start thinking of creative ways to get your child to go out and enjoy the outdoors.
Why Kids Need Some Outdoor Fun
Parenting has become harder these days with the advent of technology. Kids spent the majority of their hours in front of screens, complicating parents’ task of raising them.
According to a study in 2020, 66% of parents in the United States claim that parenting has become more challenging now. Many of those who made that claim have cited technology as one of the main reasons why parenting has become more difficult when compared to two decades ago.
Furthermore, around 71% of parents with children under the age of 12 say that they are concerned about the amount of screen time their children are having.
If children spend too much time on their mobile phones, computers, and gaming consoles, that just means they are spending less time doing outdoor activities.
But why is it vital for them to go out?
Here are some reasons why your children need to go and play outside:
Children can get vitamin D by being exposed to the sun.
Vitamin D is needed for the proper development of bones and a healthy immune system. While too much sunlight exposure can lead to sunburns, they can really benefit from being exposed to sunlight in the early morning.
Children should have an hour of exercise every day.
While it is possible for them to get exercise while inside, the outdoors will give them more opportunity and freedom to move around.
Kids need to be independent.
Kids need to develop executive functions or the skills that allow individuals to multitask and basically function well in our complex society. To develop these functions, children need unsupervised time with other children where they can learn on their own, and the outdoor setting is best for that.
To accept risks and take challenges.
Another real-world lesson that your child can learn best in the outdoors is that of taking risks. The inside of your home is a controlled environment where you try to eliminate the risks your kid may face.
So, you have to let your child play outside where there could be minor challenges.
To develop social skills.
Playing outdoors is also an excellent way for your kid to socialize and connect with other children. There is still no replacement for physical games for children to bond and make friends.
Keeping your child inside your home will deprive her of this valuable means of building connections.
These are just a few of the reasons why your child should go outside this summer.
How to Get Your Child Out this Summer
If your child is into playing devices and likes going online more than playing physical games, then you might have a hard time convincing her to go outside and play.
Here are a few ideas that you can use to get your child out this summer:
Have Surprise Adventures
Having some kind of surprise will heighten the interest of children in an activity. If they find something to be routine, then they might become less interested in that activity. Having a surprise outdoor activity can make them get excited.
Plan the activity ahead of time and avoid going to your usual destinations like the park. Consider historical places, for example, and have an adventure around there. It will be a great way for your kid to learn about the history of the place and get the outdoor exercise that she needs as well.
Try Alternative Ways of Traveling
Is your kid used to traveling in a car or your own vehicle? That may be limiting what she learns of the world. The next time you need to go out, you should try some alternative form of transport that you don’t usually take.
Try taking the bus with your child and explain to her how things work.
Plant a Garden
Why not get something useful out of your child’s playtime? Try planting a garden with your kid. You can turn it into a bonding moment.
It doesn’t matter what kind of garden you will be planting. Maybe you can have a flower garden that can beautify your yard. A vegetable garden is also a great choice since it can teach your child the value of hard work and how food is grown.
Build a Fort
Get some old boxes and maybe some rope, and tell your kid to build a fort in your yard. If there are other kids in the neighborhood, then perhaps you can arrange for them to have a playdate with your child. Don’t monitor your child’s every move. If she trips or falls while they are playing, then let her be if she isn’t hurt. That’s one way that she can benefit from playing outside.
Walk the Dog
If you have a dog, then take your child with you and your pet for a walk. Make sure that you turn the activity into a fun experience so that your child will look forward to it. Let your dog and your child play around and have some time for adventure when they are outside.
Have a Picnic
A picnic is one of the most fun activities you can do with your child outdoors. Go to the park and have a picnic dinner. To make sure that your kid fully appreciates this activity, bring her favorite foods to the picnic.
Enroll Your Kids in a Summer Camp
Summer camp is a great distraction-free option that encourages kids to try out new interests. Consider immersing your child in gardening for a week or more, or in specific skill-building in any sport. These opportunities abound at camp, and it’s difficult to find such concentrated activity anywhere else.
Montessori School of Downtown (MSDOT) is offering a curriculum-based summer camp organized into thematic groups, each of which delves into a variety of ideas and concepts. When learning about and discovering items that interest them, campers work on themed projects and go on field trips to relevant locations.
These are just a few of the ideas that you can use to entice your child to go outside this coming summer. You don’t have to stick to these ideas. You can always try to come up with your own ways of making the outdoors seem interesting to your child.
At MSDOT, your child will become a self-inspired learner. Visit our website now for more information.