Written by Olivia Jones
The beauty of our kids growing up in the digital era lies in the amount of available information that simplifies and allows learning through many sources, and turns it into a fun, independent activity. Kids enjoy their freedom to explore a whole universe at their fingertips, shared in a visually appealing and verbally rich environment that is the World Wide Web.
But one of the downsides of this way of life is that kids tend to spend too much time sitting, looking at a computer screen, and missing out on all the wonderful activities that involve spending time offline. Here are a few tips on how you can encourage your kids to creatively spend their time doing different things without taking away their digital freedom!
Family Fun Time
Any outdoors activity can be transformed into a super fun session for the whole family. Whether it is a walk in the park, going to a beach, a gardening activity, building a birdhouse, even a dreamlike tree house, fixing a bicycle, or just a car wash, you can spend this time as a family by dividing the activity into smaller tasks and including your kids, thus encouraging them to be independent and take responsibility.
Weekend Field Trips
Associating free time with various family activities can have a huge impact on boosting your kids’ motivation and desire to go out and about more often. For example, take your kids to a fun field trip every weekend or at least once a month. They will quickly start looking forward to your next trip, especially if you include them in the planning process.
Every moment of your child’s life can be even more special and memorable if shared with a pet. Encouraging your kids to spend time with their favorite animals and take care of them on a daily basis will not only help them develop empathy and become more disciplined, but it will soon become one of their favorite activities away from their gadgets.
You can even mix it up by teaching them how to find the right pet supplies online, and make that a part of their pet-caring routine. No more wasting time on visiting every store in town to get the perfect dog food or their favorite toy, because your children can save you a trip by making use of their web browsing skills.
Even though your kids can truly benefit from learning online, experiencing actual hands-on tasks will be even better for developing their minds and keeping them healthy. If they are keen on learning more about sports – take them to see your local games in person. Teach them the ropes of what you know about any sport, encourage them to cheer the players on, and they will soon want to give it a go themselves!
It doesn’t have to be football or martial arts, it can even be a solitary activity such as photography or arts and crafts, and finding a simple camera and tools for them to take photos, create paintings and turn it into a collection or even a tiny exhibit will give them an even better boost. Spending time online to watch tutorials and learn about the history of their hobbies is a great way to raise their interest and complement their knowledge.
Let your kids play with your sprinkler, add a pool or a trampoline to your yard, bring some of their toys outside and just let their imagination do the rest! You’ll be surprised just how much fun kids can have with very little to no guidance. Some studies have even shown that unsupervised play allows your children to grow their creativity, intelligence and it can even have a positive influence on their social skills. Spending time in nature, daylight, dirt and fresh air is also an excellent way to build resilience and inspire creative freedom.
Whatever their choices of offline activities might be, you can help your kids have fun, learn and grow by encouraging their young minds to think and act outside of the online box. With such diversity in their childhood, they will certainly grow up to become versatile, caring people, eager to explore new things and lead a dynamic, fulfilled life.
Guest Blogger: Olivia Jones
Olivia Williams Jones is psychologist from Brisbane, dedicated to making some changes in the world, starting from her own environment. Together with her husband, she is a proud mum of two silly boxers, Teo and Mia. She is also a passionate writer about pets, parenting and healthy living. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.