General

Coaxing Your Kids Off The Couch!

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Sometimes it seems as though the simple pleasures of making dens in the garden, paddling in streams, and playing hide and seek are long gone. In their place, we have computerised versions where you don’t have to leave your home to go on an adventure and triumph over evil. Though technology marches on with all its benefits, it’s hard not to feel as though something has been lost.

On the flip side, research suggests that too much screen time has a negative impact on our children’s health. And while you wouldn’t want to restrict their progress and familiarity with these new, virtual worlds, a balance must be sought. Coax your reluctant kids off the couch, whatever the weather, and out into the fresh air with these fun ideas.

Sports

If your kids are not big on imaginative games and being restricted to the garden, get them into a sport. A quick search online or with your local council will reveal countless clubs in your area. Making new friends, and being part of a team are huge draws. As well as having fun, kids will benefit from the physical activity and spending time in the fresh air. They’ll also learn to work together and strive towards a shared goal, especially if their accomplishments are rewarded with trophies, badges, certificates, etc. Companies such as Premier Trophies provide custom awards that are loved by kids.

Make Walking And Nature Fun

If kids are reluctant to go for a walk, switch it up a gear and make it more fun. Set up a scavenger hunt before your leave and write down 20 items they have to find. You can work in teams or individually. Start with simple items like a pebble or blade of grass and then make it progressively harder. This is a great way to bond as a family, immerse yourselves in the natural world and get some exercise. Intuitively we know that being in nature is good for us, but there is scientific research to back this up.

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Creative Pursuits

Not all kids enjoy sports and being active. While it’s necessary to get some exercise, the thought of increasing this may not tempt some kids out of the house. If your children prefer creative pursuits get them invested in this instead. Photography is a great way to explore your creativity and learn new skills. It requires a balance of natural flair and technical ability. The beauty is that you don’t need expensive equipment to take part. Most mobile phones now have a built-in camera and digital cameras have reduced considerably in price. If you have an SLR that takes film, consider setting up a dark room in your home or renting one for a couple of hours.

Photography is not the only way to capture the natural world. Drawing, painting, sculpting, collage, and writing, etc. are other ways you can encourage your kids’ creativity. The exercise of walking and gathering information stimulates areas of the brain that in turn increase creativity levels.

There’s nothing wrong with computer games and, in fact, they do have their benefits. However, like most things in life, moderation is key. It can be hard to compete with the excitement of plundering a tomb or embarking on a magical quest, but with a bit of thought and creativity, it can be achieved.

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