How can we encourage children to get outside?
Welcome to our Seashell blog posts where we dive into the stories of the Seashell people.
We hope to use this space and platform to inspire others and to start important conversations.
Today we are going to have a look at how we can encourage more children into getting outdoors.
In today's world, with the rise of technology, children are spending more time indoors and less time outside. This lack of outdoor activity can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. Encouraging children to get outdoors is essential for their development and well-being. In this blog, we will discuss some practical tips to encourage children to spend more time outdoors.
1. Be a Role Model.
Children learn by example, and as a parent or caregiver, family member etc you can be a role model for your children. Make sure that you also spend time outdoors and enjoy nature. When your children see you enjoying nature, they are more likely to follow in your footsteps. More and more children are using social media so it is important that we can share the adventures we do on there also so they can see it is a normal thing to do.
We want kids to grow up knowing that being outside is normal, healthy and cool.
A great example is bringing kids to meetups so they can see adults heading into the water. This will then become more normal and when they are ready and it is warm enough, their parents can allow them to explore the water in a safe way too.
2. Make it Fun.
Make outdoor activities fun for your children. You can organize activities such as picnics, nature walks, camping, or games with other children. Plan activities that are age-appropriate and allow your children to explore and learn about their surroundings. You can also play games outdoors such as tag, hide and seek, or scavenger hunts. These activities will keep your children engaged and excited about spending time outdoors.
If we can get out kids to play with other kids, it will create a sense of community within them.
You can take them to different locations so they get used to exploring anywhere and everywhere. For example take them to the beach so they can experience the feeling of the sand, mud, wind, waves, salty air etc. They will also see more adults and kids out there exploring which is great for them.
3. Get Creative.
There are many creative ways to get your children outdoors. You can set up a bird feeder in your yard and teach your children about the different types of birds that visit. You can also start a garden and teach your children about growing vegetables and fruits. Involve your children in the process, from planting the seeds to harvesting the produce. This will not only encourage them to spend more time outdoors but also teach them valuable life skills. Get them to build and create whilst outside. Making dens in the forest, mud villages, sand castles at the beach etc.
4. Limit Screen Time.
Although we are seeing more and more children using devices at school and how beneficial they can be, it is good to limit the amount of time our children spend on screens especially out of school. Try to set healthy boundaries on how much time they can spend on their devices and encourage them to spend that time outdoors. The aim is to get to a point where the kids want to be outside more than be on the screen. If we can help limit this by using positive encouragement then it is great news!
5. Make it a Routine.
Make spending time outdoors a part of your family's routine. Schedule outdoor activities regularly, such as a weekly family hike or bike ride. Encourage your children to spend time outdoors every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. We should try to get away from it feeling like a chore but if we can plan within the family routine it should hopefully continue as they grow up. Have a plan that allows the kids to help you chose ways you are going to get outside. Give them the ability to help as it means they feel like they are choosing rather being told to do it where it may feel like a chore.
6. Get Involved in Community Activities.
There are many community activities that promote outdoor activities for children. Look for local events, such as nature walks or community gardens, that your children can participate in. These events are a great way to meet new people and make new friends while enjoying the outdoors.
There are many groups for adults that also encourage to bring there kids to either take part of watch. A perfect example is our weekly Saturday Dips at Fitte end of Aberdeen beach. Anyone and everyone can come along. There are some parents there with young kids. A few people stay out and then swap with a few others so everyone can get a shot in the water and the kids are safe on dry land. So what is happening here is these young kids are seeing the adults and the older kids go in and it is now becoming the norm which is what it is all about.
In conclusion, getting children outdoors is essential for their physical and mental health. By being a role model, making it fun, getting creative, limiting screen time, making it a routine, and getting involved in community activities, you can encourage your children to spend more time outdoors. With a little effort, you can help your children develop a love for nature that will last a lifetime.
We want to encourge the new generations to grow up in a supportive and postive world where being out in the nature is the place to be.
We are excited to see the younger community grow!
If you have any kids that would love to get involved then bring along to our meetups and let's get exploring.
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