Television, computers, tablets, and smartphones today have effectively taken over traditional games and physical activities as hobbies for children. The amount of time kids today are spending on their smart devices is quite concerning. This lack of physical activity is not only taking a heavy toll on their physical health but is also robbing them of their creative ability and social skills, leading to a rise in cases of kids suffering from insomnia, disturbed sleep patterns, myopia, stress, anxiety, and depression among others.
Looking at this major health hazard, it is important to limit kids’ screen time and encourage them to pursue outdoor activities, which holds major benefits for the body and mind. In fact, many studies have proven the immense benefits of outdoor activities for both kids and adults. Some of which:
• Physical benefits – Participating in outdoor activities serves as a great fitness activity for both kids and adults. In fact, morning walks can provide the body with the much needed Vitamin D for stronger bones. Exposure to outdoor daylight has also been found to help slow down the onset of myopia.
• Mental Exercise – Outdoor activities also help boost kids’ creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, improve their attention span and keep stress and anxiety at bay. Outdoor activities also help boost their social ability to build friendship and form relationships.
With so many physical and mental benefits associated with outdoor activities, it is important to encourage your kids to get off their smart devices and go out to play. Here are a few outdoor activities your kids can enjoy.
1. Get pedalling on a bicycle
Biking is a great cardiovascular exercise, and it also helps the kids to build muscles and relieve stress. Just remember to strap on a helmet and knee guards for their safety.
2. Take a break from the heat (and smart devices) with a dip in the pool
Not only a useful skill, swimming is also a fun yet intense full-body workout that your kid is sure to enjoy. Get a couple of water guns and you can make a game out of it.
3. Make a game out of the outdoors with a Treasure Hunt
Treasure or scavenger hunts are also great outdoor activities for kids that can help them develop problem–solving skills and creative thinking. Besides that, this age-old activity also stimulates the mind and relieves stress.
4. Get sweaty with some sports!
Outdoor sports activities like football, volleyball, cricket, and basketball have numerous benefits for kids as it helps to develop motor skills, boosts self-confidence, teaches discipline and teamwork. The simple activity of throwing and catching a frisbee or ball is not only fun but also helps boost stamina and hand-eye coordination.
5. Get their hearts pumping with a good old Hide and Seek
Games like hide and seek or freeze tag also serves as a great physical activity for kids that helps boost their stamina, improves their balance, coordination and more. The best part about these games is that no equipment is required!
Besides these outdoor games, kids and parents can also enjoy a day out together by going for a family picnic, beach or city sightseeing, which would help bring the entire family together and foster parent-child bonding. Whatever your choice of outdoor activity is, just make sure your kids get at least 2 hours of outdoor time, which has been proven to help delay the onset of myopia.