Nowadays, kids are increasingly becoming disconnected from enjoying the beauty of nature due to various reasons like urbanization, addiction to technical gadgets, increased traffic on the roads, parental anxiety about allowing their kids to play outside unsupervised, watching TV etc.
It is important to make your kids play outside as it is vital for their brain growth and development. Outdoor play is also instrumental in improving decision-making abilities through touch and play method. Kids learn to think before touching any object and try to think about the after-effects of their actions. For example: What happens if I climb this hill? Should I pluck that beautiful flower? Or how did the ugly caterpillar turn into such a beautiful butterfly? And so on. Thinking about various happenings and observations allows them to develop a sense of independence and gives them a feeling of control over accepting the facts of life. It improves their survival instincts and is an important stage of becoming a more matured person.
To encourage your kids to go outside and play, try these tricks.
Make it enjoyable:
When you spend time outdoors, make the occasion enjoyable, fun and worth remembering later on. Visit a nearby lake or park and make kids notice birds, trees, insects and their characteristics and interesting facts etc. Teach them new things about nature and how to explore the beauty of nature. Make up some games that you can play as a group and have fun. Tell them stories that you know about wildlife and your own personal adventures. Games play are the best way to get your kids to enjoy outdoors.
Take the help of technology:
Technology is an easy way to get your kids to pay attention to you, especially if your child is technologically savvy and is addicted to phones, tablets etc. The key is to develop their interest in spending time outdoors by encouraging them to pursue their passions and hobbies. If they like photography, encourage them to take pictures of animals, birds, flowers or some rare creatures that they spot. Download apps which include nature collections or outdoor games. Animated movies can help in catching the attention of small children and develop an interest in forests, parks, and other related activities.
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The power of feeling by touch:
Getting really close to nature will help kids to enjoy their time outdoors. Use your imagination and help them to make a mud castle or go for a swim the creek. Get dirty playing in the mud or play hide and seek behind trees. Kids need to experience that feeling of being pricked by thorns, grazed by twigs, digging their feet deep into the sand etc to make their childhood experiences complete. Encountering nature at a close range and surviving will prepare them to face difficult situations easily in the future.