These days’ parents tend to forget their own childhood memories… Playing outside, climbing trees or growing a vegetable garden. We all can agree that life as we knew it, has changed so much. Technology has evolved rapidly and there is often not any place for the memories we as parents use to have as children.
We tend to agree on this matter but we don’t really understand the influence it has on our offspring’s. Cellphones, television programs, Ipad, Computer games and TV games has become so evolved and competitive everything is the new and latest must have’s and playing outside has been left behind for the less fortunate children. Little do we know just how important this absolutely free of charge, God given present can mean for our little ones.
And here is why:
The outdoors is the best place for pre-schoolers to practice and master emerging physical skills. It is in the outdoors that children can fully and freely experience motor skills like running, leaping, and jumping. It is also the most appropriate area for practicing ball-handling skills, like throwing, catching, and striking. And children can perform other such manipulative skills as pushing a swing, pulling a wagon, and lifting and carrying movable objects. It’s where they can feel and taste basic things like, ground, dirt, rocks and flowers.
It is also in the outdoors that children are likely to burn the most calories, which helps prevent obesity, a heart disease risk factor that has doubled in the past decade. With studies showing that as many as half of American children are not getting enough exercise and that risk factors like hypertension and arteriosclerosis are showing up at age 5. Parents need to give serious consideration to ways in which to prevent such health problems. The outside is also important because the outdoor light stimulates the pineal gland, the part of the brain that regulates the “biological clock,” is vital to the immune system, and makes us feel happier.
Sometimes we can run out of ideas for playtime when our children our bouncing of the walls, but if you can just take away the walls… The problem will be resolved. Our lives have become so busy that we tend to choose something easy to keep them busy like shoving a cellphone in their hand or putting on the TV. Being outside does not only benefit our children but it also gives us a time out which will do wonders for our stress levels.
Children can get bored of their toys so quickly, but if you just take them for a walk and show them the little things that we as stressed out adults don’t even seem to see anymore, you will realise by the sparkle in their eyes, what this outside and simple world do to their imagination. It’s amazing.
Here are some ideas we can help you with:
A Nature walk where you can show and tell everything you see or a “listening” walk where you can listen to all the different sounds.
Build a tent outside… even with simple things like a blanket and a chair. They will love it.
When it’s warm, just put some water in a big bucket or just simply squirt each other with the garden hose. The laughter will be endless.
Hunt for bugs
So them some flowers – Let them know which they may touch and which ones will hurt them.
Climb a tree
Build them an obstacle course with simple things, like climb under the chair, jump over the branch, run around the table ext.
Grow things – Start a vegetable garden with them or just plant a tree.
Dig in the mud and Cook some mudpies. The mud will wash off quickly but the memories will last a lifetime.
Jump in puddles
Build your own imaginary house and garden… don’t forget to park you toy cars.
We often struggle to figure out what we can do with our children but I realised that being a good parent is not about what we can do with our children, but what we can do for them. I want to be the best mother I can possibly be. One they can be proud of, one that God will be proud of.
Go make some memories
Lots of Love
Nadia du Toit
Nadia is a mommy of two beautiful girls, Lea and Ellie. They live in sunny Balito and I am proud to announce that Nadia is the co-founder and guest blogger of Mumu and me!