Our parents didn’t know how to stop us from watching too much television. Now we have the same headache – our kids are too busy with PlayStation, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc. Technology development is truly great, it allows us to communicate with each other on the distance, work remotely, and learn. But isn’t it too much for our kids? According to a study conducted by Common Sence Media, nowadays children under 9 spend more than 2 hours on screens daily. Spending so much time staring at the screen can lead to severe consequences such as the lack of soft skills and Internet Addiction.
The previous generations loved spending time outdoors, but it is not the case for our kids due to the increased use of digital technologies and media. According to experts in PDPlay, outdoor play has a lot of benefits for children. The list includes improving social skills, well-being, health and boosting creativity.
Here are some ideas for helping your children to balance technology with outdoor play in the 21st century:
Use a GoPro
Kids love YouTube, and a lot of them dream about making own vlogs. Shooting a short movie can also be fun. Most important, it requires a lot of effort. You can give your kids a GoPro camera for Christmas so they can explore the world with it. For example, let them ride a bike and film their journey or make a movie with friends and family members. Filming is not only a good way to spend more time outdoors, but it can also be a great hobby for your child.
Digital Easter egg hunt
Some kids don’t want to go for the Easter egg hunt anymore. Why will they run around your house to look for fake eggs when they can play with their phones or watch the video of kinetic sand cube drops? This year you can prepare something truly special: make a map out of QR codes that your kids can scan with their phones and get the hint for next location.
Download Pokemon Go
If your kids love playing games on their phones, let them download Pokemon Go. According to the latest research presented at an American Heart Association meeting, this game helps people get more exercise. An average user walks 10.000 steps a day to capture in-game creatures. Pokemon Go is the most popular game that promotes physical activity. Another great thing is that your kids will learn the area better. If you don’t want to let them go all be themselves, join them on this adventure.
If you watch cartoons or series together with your kid, introduce a new rule of combining fitness with television. You can make space in front of your TV and do some simple exercises while watching favourite shows. For example, you can do push-ups, front plank, side plank, cobra, forward lunge or side lunge. Your kids will not be able to do without you. Be an example.
It’s difficult to find a person who doesn’t want to play with a drone. You can take it to the vacation, play with it in your backyard or use it in the house ( in a responsible way). Also, you can always rent it to check whether you like it or not. Feel free to join your kid and explore the possibilities of this technology together.
Set up the rules
You can speak to your kids about the use of technology in the house. The best way to handle it is to show an example. If parents are addicted to social media and check their phones all the time or watch television the whole evening, children will do exactly the same. Also, you can encourage kids to earn their tech time. For example, one hour of physical activity for half an hour of watching YouTube or playing video games. It was suggested by Len Saunders in her book ‘Keeping Kids Fit: A Family Plan for Raising Active, Healthy Children’. If it doesn’t work, turn off the WiFi in the evening. Yes, it means you will have to live without Facebook posts before going to bed. Take some time to get used to it, and it will benefit you as well.