Do you find that your children prefer to play inside more than explore the great outdoors? Are they opting for movies and video games instead of hikes or time on the playground? Some medical professionals have coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe this trend and are encouraging young people to spend more time outdoors, as nature plays a critical role in the development of physical literacy and movement skills. To help your kiddos get active this summer, we’ve curated a list some fun outdoor activities and tips!
Mind Your Screen Time
Kids are growing up in environments saturated with new technologies, which they are utilizing at increasing rates. During a child’s crucial period of rapid brain development, it’s essential to allow them to experience the outdoors. To support a healthy balance of activities, try to set limits on screen time in your home.
Get in the Garden
Growing a garden can be a rich and meaningful activity for children. Not only will your child learn responsibility, but tending to plants and vegetables will increase their awareness of the environment and life cycle process. To start, reserve a special space for your little one in your family garden. In this area, your child can help make decisions on what to grow and will have room to experiment with watering without impacting your other plants. There are a number of kid-friendly gardening tools to get your kiddos exciting about this project.
Pack a Picnic
There’s no better way to take advantage of a sunny day than with a picnic. Ask your kiddo to help pack the picnic so they feel included in the process According to Martha Stewart, it’s best to prepare simple sandwiches, freshly chopped veggies and some delicious graham crackers and chocolate spread for an easy, fool-proof picnic with the kids. Don’t forget to pack a towel and some yard toys to extend the fun even after the meal.
Catch Some Critters
Like fireworks, fireflies are a symbol of summertime! Not only is it fun to watch these bugs light up the night sky, but they’re safe and easy critters for children to catch. Ask your child to paint or decorate a jar to house the fireflies and let the magic begin!
Hunt for Treasure
Does your child want to be a modern-day treasure hunter? Geocaching is a fun outdoor activity that can take you to thousands of spots across Birmingham. All you need is your smartphone or GPS! Hunt for hidden boxes in parks, playgrounds or hiking trails and swap knick-knacks with other treasure hunters.
Be Safe Outdoors!
Before embarking on your next adventure, teach your kids basic strategies for staying safe and making smart choices when playing outside. Make sure they’re wearing appropriate clothing and sunscreen, have the right equipment and stay hydrated for a day full of fun. Accidents and injuries are bound to happen, so prevention is key. But when those bug bites, sunburns or heat-related medical concerns arise, bring your child to Urgent Care for Children for quick and stress-free care.