When we were growing up, we spent summers outside, enjoying the warm sunshine and cool lemonade. Today, on the other hand, more kids are spending summers indoors on sofas, watching TV or playing video games. If your kids prefer having fun that way, rather than playing outside, stay with us.
Here are some summer activities that will encourage the kids to ditch the TV, unplug, and make an adventure of nature. Enjoy!
Go for a scavenger hunt outside!
Kids adore scavenger hunts! There’s something about spending a beautiful summer day searching for favorite candies and toys and having fun in your own backyard. You can organize a scavenger hunt for the kids in two ways: clue-to-clue or introduce a list of objects to be gathered.
Summer scavenger hunts are the type of activity that will keep your children happily engaged and away from the TV. It is also great exercise for your kids’ minds and bodies, for it keeps them engaged and moving about while hunting, which is a memorable way to spend an otherwise lazy summer day.
You can give younger kids pictures of objects to collect, while older ones can read from a list of words, phrases, sentences, or riddles — match the level of difficulty to the age and development of the child. No matter what’s on the list or what type of scavenger hunt you choose, one thing is sure — they will inevitably have a good time!
Plant a garden together!
Having a garden of your own will surely help your kids successfully connect with nature, best accomplished by allowing them to take part in garden-related activities. Your children will learn about fruits and vegetables this way, which will largely contribute to healthy lifestyle choices. You can take the kids to a local store and show them how to pick plants and seeds for your garden. Then, the children can help you dig holes and plant the seeds. Don’t forget to cover them with dirt and to water them regularly later on. Once the plants have grown, your kids can harvest them and enjoy those delicious fruits and veggies they helped cultivate.
Let the kids play in the dirt and mud!
Even though this may seem unnecessary or even gross to many parents, urging your child to play in natural dirt is highly recommended for many reasons. As you already know, we live in an era of numerous technological and medical developments, among others, which are designed to work for us and our health in the best possible way. For that reason, various antibacterial and disinfecting products have been invented, but they are not as good as we think. These products can prevent the formation of healthy gut bacteria, which can further lead to digestive problems and different allergies.
Also, the human immune system can be affected by these products. Foods rich in probiotics, as well as soil-based organisms, can help in restoring those gut bacteria. This is why you should let your kids play in the dirt or even mud!
As you already know, babies and toddlers love putting dirty objects in their mouth, which helps develop their immune system. Even some approaches to education, such as the Montessori approach, promote this kind of play since it provides an ideal environment for learning and connecting with nature. So, let your kids play in mud this summer!
As you can see, there are plenty of outdoor activities that will make your kids forget the TV and help them enjoy the wonders of nature this summer. Just remember that everything should be about having fun and learning new things. Isn’t that what childhood — and summer — is all about? And, who knows, once they get a taste of being disconnected from TV and the internet and connecting with nature, they may enjoy balance all year round (additional encouragement may be required).
Contributed by Emma Lawson: Emma is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. She is a regular contributor to High Style Life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson.