Children today are attached to computers, game systems, iPads, smartphones, and televisions. Or so it seems. Each passing year, there are less kids at outdoor playgrounds and consequently, obesity is getting to be a ‘bigger’ problem, in every sense of the word. They play games on the computer, but they aren’t experiencing the physical part of playing backyard games or lawn games.
And because of this obsession with electronics, children are losing the ability to find themselves and express themselves. They aren’t outside jumping, playing, running, shouting, whistling, and overall, getting dirty, getting tired. They may be exploring the world via the internet or television, but they aren’t getting in touch with the natural world.
Electronics Have A Place
The electronics of the world offer our kids a wonderful learning tool, which is important. But the need for outdoor play is critical and has a fundamental reason: It gives children the opportunity to gain developmental tasks such as exploring, fine and gross motor development, and risk-taking. They also have the opportunity to absorb the basic knowledge that outdoor play and outdoor yard games can teach them.
They Lack Physical Exercise Today
The development of our large and small motor skills occurs when we are children. We also build up our cardiovascular endurance. Because each year, more and more electronics are available that keep children indoors, we are seeing obesity in children growing. Outdoor games are a childhood character builder and prepares them for adulthood.
When a child plays games outdoor, they are prone to explore and experiment, expand their horizons and manipulate their time with creativity. They can marvel at their discoveries and create outdoor games that allow them to run, skip, sing and talk loud, and in general, be a kid. Creating memories is what childhood should be about, not expanding the memory on a computer.
Entice Them To Get Outside
One of the best ways to get your kids to put down the game controllers and turn off the computer is to lead by example. As a parent, you are the role model and when you prioritize outdoor activities, they will too. You don’t have to be an exercise buff, but be active outdoors is a must if you want your child to be active outdoors.
Mix things up by offering them a variety of outdoor activities and outdoor games. This allows them to find what suits them and what they feel most comfortable doing. Be creative in the outdoor games you introduce your children to, you can even be creative with taking walks in the neighborhood. Simple outdoor games like “Follow the Leader" and "Simon Says" will get everyone moving.
Introducing them to outdoor games like Bocce, horseshoes, and Rollors will ease them into playing outside. For younger kids, learning to keep score will help their math skills too. And these are games that can teach them competitive play in a fun way. Backyard games and lawn games like these will incorporate the whole family, even the neighborhood.