How to Get My Child off the iPad And Playing Outside
Technology certainly has its advances. It allows us to stay in contact with people far and near, to share experiences, and also to perform certain functions at work and home a lot easier. It has also completely changed the kids’ play landscapes all over the world. It is now not unusual to see toddlers playing with iPads, tablets, and cell phones, and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, kids are losing out on physical playtime outside when they are glued to their technology.
Any healthcare worker will recommend outside playtime to keep bodies active, to teach kids more about the outdoor world, and to help them to learn to enjoy being outside. There is, after all, a lot to learn out there. Outdoor activities help to stimulate cardiac activity, oxygenated blood flowing to vital organs, hand and eye coordination, and muscle development. So, if you are trying to get your child off the iPad and playing outside, here are some suggestions for you!
- Go on a Hike: South Africa is a wonderful place for outdoor activities, and you can find child-friendly hikes in just about any area. Get the kids up early on a Saturday morning, pack a healthy snack pack and water, and off you go! No kids are allowed to take any technology with them (except perhaps for a parent who would like to capture the rare moments of the hike on their cameras) and enjoy exploring the outdoors. While kids may moan a little at the beginning, they will ultimately enjoy the hike. They will return fulfilled, satisfied, tired, hungry, and ready for a good night’s sleep!
- Have a Picnic: There are parks in most suburbs of the country, and an outdoor picnic is something that most kids enjoy. Remember to take a ball, perhaps some rackets or tools for some other outdoor games, and spend an afternoon or morning playing with the kids outside in order to gear up their activity and stimulate hunger. Only take healthy foods. They will be hungry enough to eat whatever you give them after a game of football or Frisbee!
- Buy a Trampoline: Yes, this may cost a bit of money, but if you want your kids to get off the iPad and playing outside, there are very few things that excite them more than jumping around on a trampoline. Not only does a trampoline provide a lot of exertion and exercise, but it also aids balance and dexterity.
- Treasure Hunt: Hide a number of items around the garden and give them each a list of what is hidden. The kid who can return the most items on the list can get a reward or a privilege. This does not always have to contain sugary treats. It can also be other rewards, such as extra tech time. This helps to balance the time spent outdoors with that spent indoors.
- Explore a Dam: Swimming is one of the activities that children enjoy the most, but they are usually accustomed to clear blue pools in the back garden. Challenge them by taking them to a farm dam and gently allow them to push their own boundaries by entering an environment that they are unfamiliar with. Under no circumstances should kids be pushed to get into a dam. It can be a very scary experience for some children.
But once they have conquered their fear and ventured into the dam for a swim with all the creatures around, they will acquire a sense of pride and accomplishment that will be hard to beat. They can even spend time around the dam, exploring the crabs and frogs that inhibit that environment. They can even capture some tadpoles and take them home to raise.
They can then be encouraged to use their iPads or computers to research the feeding routines of these creatures to keep them in good health. Raising creatures successfully also provides a sense of responsibility and confidence. Once the tadpoles grow legs, however, they will have to be returned to the dam to grow into full-sized frogs. This is an intense learning experience for children about the cycle of life, and how to preserve and look after wildlife.
If you are constantly wondering how to get a child off the iPad and playing outside, the options are limitless. All you have to do is to spend time with them and help them to explore the outdoor world in more detail!