Our children do it and we as parents are not so innocent either, although we would be loath to admit it. With advancement in communication technology, the emergence of the internet and reduction in cost of various hand held pieces, we are all spending far too much time staring at a screen!
Before laptops, mobile phones and tablets came along; most people would spend some of their spare time in front of the television, relaxing with music or reading a book. Now we have television, mobile phones, tablets and handheld gaming devices competing for the attention of not only our children’s time but ours as well.
As we discussed in our first blog, our obsession with these devices is affecting our children in various ways including their health, psychological development and their social skills.
Bringing green time back
As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure our children lead balanced lives. There is nothing wrong with your child playing video games, watching television or chatting to a friend on their mobile phone if they are managed correctly… and it should never happen at the dinner table.
How do we start to win our children back from modern technology? What can we do to help ensure that they lead productive, happy lives where playing outside with their friends is more important than something with a screen.
Here are a few tips you could follow to help your kids get back outside and having some green time fun!
- The most important place to start is the dinner table. This is one place that all devices should be banned from and the television turned off. By starting to have your children sit around a table, eat dinner and discussing the day as a family, you can help to instil a strong family bond that ensures quality family time.
- What did you do when you played outside as a child? What games did you play? Have you ever introduced these games to your kids? Teach them and encourage them to introduce these games to their friends. Arrange a time that everyone can get together and play… adults included!
- Remember mudpies? Teach your kids how to make one! I’m sure you remember how to catch tadpoles? Help your children catch some and keep them while they grow into frogs. What about climbing a tree? Teach your kids this important skill as well!
- Plant something in your garden, a flower, shrub or small tree. Make your kids custodians over its care, showing them how to water it and how to feed it fertilizers and nutrients.
- Take your kids and their friends to the beach. Collect shells, build sand castles, play beach cricket and teach the older ones who can swim how to surf.
- Have a picnic in the bush, at the beach, at a nearby creek, anywhere you want! Picnics are a great way to get out into nature and have fun with your family and friends!
All these activities can help show your children (and remind yourself) how much fun there is to be had outdoors!