Before technology advanced to what it is today (and children got the hang of using games and apps ahead of most adults), kids were more than happy to play outside all day long, rain or shine. So how can you encourage your children to swap their screen time for some physical activity? After all, moderate exercise has multiple health benefits; reducing the risk of obesity and the development of high blood pressure and cholesterol in later life. Outdoor activities and exercise can even improve mental health and social interaction skills.
Limiting tech time
The ideal first step to take is to limit the amount of time that your kids can spend playing on computer games, phones or tablets. Suggest or enforce that they can have up to an hour’s ‘tech time’ each evening, and maybe a couple more at the weekend. This will free up time for playing out in the garden, exercising and socialising with the kids next door.
Popular summer camp activity holidays cater to children of primary and secondary school age, and the all-inclusive adventure holidays are a great way for kids to try out new outdoor activities and make like-minded friends.
What better way to get the whole family involved in the outdoors than a family camping trip?
As well as being fun and getting your children away from the house for a weekend, camping provides a welcome distraction from school and work, and helps break the mould of a child’s daily routine. The fresh air increases oxygen levels and melatonin, subsequently making you feel much less stressed. It can also be a challenge to be away from comfort items such as beds and toilets for a few nights. You never know when your camping skills will come in handy.
To have a successful camping trip, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right equipment, and this family tents guide for beginners is a great place to start. Preparation is the absolute key when it comes to camping, so stock up on equipment for sleeping, cooking, relaxing and activities. Camping is a good opportunity to teach your children the basics of cooking and enjoying the outdoors without technology or modern-day equipment.
If you’re looking for outdoor activities closer to home, checking your local news website or TripAdvisor should tell you all you need to know about summer holiday activities. Towns or cities with large parks and outdoor space usually hold planned events for families with children.
If there’s no events in your area, take some of your own equipment down to your local park, and set up a family game of football or rounder’s. Kids will love the idea of a competitive game where they can go up against their parents and keep the scores along the way.
As well as making sure your kids get the most of the outdoors, playing sports will also teach them new skills, and promote the importance of team work. You can’t lose!