We live in an era of technological change, it’s developing all around us, from the Google self-driving cars to the virtual 3D gaming consoles, which makes reality seemingly less clearly defined as it once did in my childhood. I remember a time when I used to play outdoors alongside the river, which flowed close to my parents house, all the kids used to gather beneath the old tree, it had a rope dangling from one of its branches and we all took turns in swing a couple times back and forth before eventually tumbling into the cold refreshing waters which flowed from the high mountain tops above.
These memories seem to last the test of time and as a parent I see my child focusing on the world of gaming, illusion, sensory input and overload and I ask myself is this the right thing to be allowing my kid to spend countless hours plugged into, like the matrix is there a red or blue pill here or are their other options to me that I need to be focusing on and maybe after-all this is not about Harry, but about me. Me in the sense of what i choose to allow him to focus on because he is that blank canvas which is slowly getting filled and colored as time passes and I would like him to have a balance and respect with the outside world as he should with his inner self.
Here are my 19 favorite outdoor activities for kids that i think will ensure you too to find some other options and ways to spend quality time together outdoors. Everything in nature is connected with such intricacy and fine-tuning that simply observing it can be inspirational and life-changing. My husband is a surfer and loves nothing more than to be outdoors at the beach with some friends riding waves, which seems to be in time and rhythm with something great and unique. I have spent many an afternoon sitting and watching the sun set overhead wondering to myself is there a meaning to all of this and yet I still don’t have an answer, but what I do believe is a need for a deep connection to everything around us and I want this respect that I have for our planet and people to be shared and passed onto everything/one around, but especially my little children who mean the world already, like the seed and the acorn tree they will grow and embody everything that surrounds them.
Making Time for Outdoors
Like most families time is of the essence and in short supply, life is hectic, commitments are vast and seemingly ending, so finding time as a family is important, even if there isn’t much of it, the simple process of becoming aware of what is available to you all is the first stage in the process for me. I remember when Tom was working nights for a while and I was up early with Harry, it seemed as if they were never getting to see each other and this deeply saddened me. Then me being me I decided to make time. I realized that Tom and Harry had a window of opportunity together from 3-5 PM and that this was gonna be “family time”, but even more was that it was going to spent outdoors, simply because Tom saw so little sunlight (helps makes you happy) being asleep during the day and up all night, so for me it was a must!
Reasons for Being Outdoors
There are so many reasons to be outdoors and having fun whether out in the sun, at the beach or even something freaky like parachuting, but simply the back garden is phantasmagorical (haha.. love this word). There is so much clinical evidence to prove that being outdoors can boost happiness, endorphin’s which are naturally occurring happy chemicals produced by the brain get on the increase, decrease in the likelihood of cancer-producing cells because of the exercise is done, which is great especially with the rise in cancer. Both my parents have had cancer and my dad is currently struggling with melanoma cancer and although it’s bringing all the family together it’s not easy, so anything that can help prevent it is a priority for me.
Color affects our mood and behavior, natural light is much better than the one that is produced from the TV or tablet. Americans are suffering from insomnia at a startling rate and in a lot of cases its simply down to the amount of artificial light they’re constantly in contact with. They say you shouldn’t be in contact with blue light (TV and stuff like that) for few hours before bed, but honestly, we are glued to our emails, tablets and TV so is it any wonder we are suffering! Not that long ago I got into the habit of watching Netflix before bed, its convenience and enjoyment in the short term seemed to outweigh the long-term at the time. Thankfully these habits have become less overtime and I feel my overall mood has improved, but also by limiting the blue-light for my children has made a noticeable difference in the day to day living and difficulties that sometimes occur.
Some other points are:
- Forest calm us down and is soothing to the eye
- Natures sounds are good and inspiring
- The smell of the outdoors is naturally beautiful and with such diversity
- Creativity in nature increases tremendously
- Water is everything and purifies the body and soul
- Nature heals deep wounds
- Activities in nature help reduce aging
So, as you’ve probably guessed by now I am a bit of an advocate for getting outdoors and enjoying some quality family time. Hopefully, this has inspired a little creativity that’s fun for all and especially your loved ones.