Summer Plans Nixed? Unplug the Kids from Their Screens for These Back-to-the-Basics Activities!
In the name of health, set a goal this summer to give up a little of that screen time for some quality outdoor fun!
Let’s be clear. Electronics can provide a lifeline to many of us that consider ourselves more of an Amazon-Prime-survival-mode-mom than a Pinterest-we-have-our-life-together-mom. BUT, give yourself the opportunity to make some old-school style memories with the kiddos this summer. And hey, maybe there’s a balance to be found between these two types of mothers!
According to Child Mind Institute, the average American child spends 4-7 minutes a day in “unstructured play outdoors.” If you’re anything like me, you read that sentence and thought, “are you kidding me?! That is absolutely absurd!” I mean, it takes a child a minimum of 20 minutes to get ready to go outside!
But let’s not start being too judgy, it IS the 21st century, and our kids have access to an entire world beyond their backyard. And you know what, forcing them outdoors for the recommended 4-6 hours a day also seems insane.
So how can you find that balance?
Start by making a statement. If you have the typical school-aged kids, and even today’s toddler can get vicious when it comes to their screen time, let them know you ALL will be making a routine change this summer. (We do one hour “device time” from 7-8, I thought it was crazy, but after a few days it actually worked!)
Shoot for ONE HOUR of an outdoor activity a day. In my house, the only time I let this slide is for rain. This is also where a little organization can go a long way. Quick detour, if you need help organizing; 1THRIVE has amazing 1THRIVE Centers that will make you WANT to plan ahead!
Let’s talk about sports
Soccer, dodgeball, softball, heck even badminton, are all great backyard activities to play with the kids. All relatively cheap as well, and you could even find many at yard sales or second-hand stores.
I’ll be honest, I’m not the type to chase after a soccer ball. However, I will kick the crap out of any kid with my badminton skills. Momma’s gotta uphold her title! But really the sport you play or even if you play with the kids (although it’s great for adults to get outside too!) doesn’t matter.
The point is to get the kids out there. Let them laugh with each other and you. Foster some healthy competition. Teach about *cough cough* humbly winning and gracefully losing. No one likes that person who can’t play a friendly game and still have a good time if they lose.
What about the boob-sweat inducing days?
Uncoil that hose and let it rip people! Invest in some fun water activities:
- Slip ’N Slide
- Water table
- Squirt pumps (Shhh, they’re actually called water guns)
- Baby pool
Literally, one of my kid’s favorite activities is to “paint” with water. We have a couple big house painting brushes and buckets. I fill those babies up sometimes 5 or 6 times, but it keeps them active for most of our hour goal.
The Dad of this house loves putting his feet in the baby pool and enjoying a cold beverage while the kids splash around him. Also, we are required to move the sprinkler to a new location each day it’s used to water the lawn evenly throughout the summer. That’s straight from Dad’s rulebook.
Whatever water play you decide on, there are ways for the whole family to enjoy themselves!
So do you mean for real, sleeping with bugs, camping?
Well, you could. I mean, plenty of people enjoy rolling out a sleeping bag within a thin vinyl walled hut, hoping to not wake up to the sound of a creature scratching at your abode. Not me, though.
Give me a nice camping resort with the option of cabins, please. Glamping, which is a combination of “glamorous” and “camping,” is more up my alley. And bonus! Campgrounds are opening this summer for our entertainment!
Keep in mind, with camping resorts being on the shortlist of kid-friendly activities actually open this summer, they’re filling up fast! Most require a deposit and a minimum of a two-night stay.
I know our summer is filling up fast, with all the rescheduled doctor and dentist appointments, and my kids finally being able to have playdates and sleepovers with friends. If you add a couple of camping trips in there, before you know it, summer will be over! My favorite way to stay organized is The Brooke. I love the calendar whiteboard along with the weekly blackboard!Make the most of this summer, get out of the house, put down your phone, and have fun!