Children today have exchanged making tree forts, catching critters, and digging in the dirt for more sedentary pursuits. A Kaiser Foundation Study revealed that children ages 8 - 18 spend 7 hours 38 minutes a day on electronic devices. (Electronic devices includes anything with a screen)
Getting children outdoors and experiencing nature is an important part of being a kid. Sadly, statistics show in a typical week only six percent of children today age 9-13 play outside on their own.
Exploring the outdoors is critical to fostering a healthy conservation ethic for the future generation.
6 Ideas to Get Outside
Let's encourage children to get outdoors and explore this Spring. Here are 6 awesome ideas to make it happen.
Learn about Birds
Birds are fascinating. Exploring and learning about birds with children is such a great adventure. Playing bird theme games and reading books can inspire a child to want to learn more. Then getting outdoors with binoculars to bird watch or creating a bird feeder to bring the birds to you, will bring giggles of joy.
Read books together
Spending time reading with children opens their eyes to a whole other world and sparks their curiosity. By reading books about nature, it creates a connection and opens up conversation.
Children today are busy. Teach them how to slowdown and take in the world around them. Grab a sketch pad, some pencils, and head outside to picture journal.
Sit quietly for a few minutes and then have the children draw whatever catches their eye. It could be a small blade of grass with a beetle crawling or a blooming flower. Anything that inspires them and lets their creativity flow.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Head out into the backyard or a local park for a scavenger hunt. Hunt for: nuts, leaves, pine cones, spider, seed pods, a feather, a bird, beetles, foot prints, mushroom, squirrel, lady bug, pebble, clover, etc. Consider bringing some of these items home for nature inspired crafts.
Using elements collected during a walk or playtime at the park, makes for a great craft projects. Taking leaf rubbings, creating critters out of small pine cones and pipe cleaners, and how about a nature weave. These hands-on activities foster incredible creativity.
Play a Nature Inspired Games
Playing games as a family, is priceless. Anytime time together and way from the devices is rewarding to everyone.
This Easter or as a birthday gift, consider giving gifts that gets children outdoors and brings families together.
NPR Kids And Screen Time: A Peek At Upcoming Guidance Jan 2016