These days, technology has provided our children with a multitude of electronic games and gadgets which, while ideal entertainment for Winter and rainy days, can discourage children from the good old fashioned art of simply playing outside.
This is a real shame because it almost seems as though today’s children are losing touch with the simple delights of being out in the fresh air. Summer’s just around the corner and that means longer days and warmer weather – perfect for outdoor play! Encouraging your children to play in your garden, or taking them to a local park, is the perfect way to stimulate their imaginations and get them exercising at the same time.
Exercising through play helps your children’s muscle development and can improve co-ordination and motor skills. Teaching your child to ride a bicycle or scooter is brilliant for their balance and also gives them confidence. There are so many ways children can benefit from outdoor play.
Outdoor play can be a great learning tool. Ideas for imaginative learning based play include gathering materials to use for a mini garden or collage, giving each child a matchbox and letting them fill it with as many small things as they can find (which you can examine together), or more traditional games like I spy and hide and seek. For younger children there are many ways to encourage them to learn such as trying to find something of a particular colour, or using outdoor items such as leaves to help them with counting and numbers.
Use an opportunity to develop something your children might be learning about in school, such as wildlife: for example you could spot and identify wild birds. To help children with their alphabet and language skills why not pick a letter of the alphabet and challenge them to spot things beginning with that letter.
If you live near, or can travel to, a beach, there are so many things to do and see, from watching tiny crabs and other life in rock pools to collecting shells and pebbles and constructing sand castles. A beach is a completely different world for children to explore and most children love spending time there. Just remember to apply sun cream and take plenty of water to drink, particularly on hot days.
Even if you don’t have a garden of your own, there are plenty of parks you can take your children to, many with play equipment such as slides and swings available, and you could even make a day of it with a group of mums and their children. Playing with other children in the park is not only good for social skills but it’s a free day out. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring the great outdoors with your children!
Video games are often under fire from publicity-hungry senators who want to pander to the older generation. However, as time goes by the people who enjoy video games now will soon be in power. But, until that day we are forced to question whether video games and outdoor activities should be compared and contrasted. This essay compares and contrasts outdoor activities.
Video games are not designed to burn off a lot of energy. They are not aerobic in any way, nor are they able to increase physical fitness.
Video games are able to stimulate intellect and help to teach people how to focus on one task for hours on end. It gives a psychological reward for extended concentration and effort.
Video games stimulate the competitive urge in people, making them more amenable to real-world competition. Competition is healthy and therefore it is a good thing to stimulate it as much as possible.
Video games force people to use logic and other problem solving elements of their mind. This helps them to become slightly more proficient at problem solving in real life.
Video games help people to come to terms with being on their own for long periods. This is healthy as people who are over dependant on human interaction are often mal adjusted when it comes to independence and having their own direction in life.
Outdoor activities are aerobic, even if a person simply takes up walking. This means that energy is burnt off which helps to increase physical fitness.
Outdoor activities are not really set up to help a person concentrate. In fact, they often involve allowing the mind to wander, as this is often part of the relaxing element involved with outdoor activities.
Outdoor activities that involve games are just as competitive as video games, and so are good for people on a psychological level. Encouraging healthy competition is what helps people strive to be better.
Outdoor activities do not stimulate logic and problem solving elements in the mind, but does stimulate spatial and lateral thinking elements in the brain. It also helps to build mind to body coordination, whereas video games only stimulate hand-to-eye coordination.
Outdoor activities are far more social than video games, which means they help people to become more sociable. They make it easier for people to come together in groups and take part in social activities.
It seems pretty obvious that a person should indulge in both video games and outdoor activities in equal measure. Just like any form of recreation, too much of one thing can be bad. A healthy mix of outdoor activities and video games is going to be healthy and positive for both adults and children.