Various studies indicate that children today are definitely spending far less time outdoors than generations past. Data shows that children are now spending as much as 55 hours a week indoors using electronics, while a UK survey showed that children now spend only four hours a week outdoors, compared to just over 8 hours a week that today’s adults did when they were themselves children. Today’s kids are often enamored by video games and social media, reluctant to experience the great outdoors. In this blog entry, we’ll show you how you can help buck this trend and get your kids to appreciate nature and spend some time in the sun.
How to get your kids outdoors
- Go camping – even if it’s just in the backyard!
Camping is a classic way of staying outside and enjoying family and friendly bonding, while getting away from all the hustle and bustle of technology and modern civilization. But even if you don’t want to go off to some remote campsite or forest, even just a camping trip in your backyard will be enough!
- Explore geocaching games
Ever since portable GPS receivers became popular, geocaching has been an incredibly popular, global sport that has treasure seekers and curious travelers looking around for each other’s surprises. Get a cheap GPS receiver, or even just use your phone, and go hunting for geocaches around the city and region. It’ll teach your child problem solving skills, tracking, and even independence if you let them off on their own!
- Plant a garden
Gardening is a patient, fulfilling activity that gives the opportunity to teach some character skills, as well as a little bit of biology and horticulture! And of course, it’s often done outdoors, which will help encourage your child to stay outdoors.
- Try some seasonal camps
Swiss International School Dubai has some amazing spring and summer camps for children that can take them to fields or swimming pools. It’s a great way for them to make new friends, learn teamwork skills, and get some exercise, all while being outside in the sun.
- Visit some nature reserves
The UAE has a lot of places you can explore to learn more about nature in protected areas. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is right here in Dubai, and you can witness migratory birds in these protected wetlands just within the city. There’s also Wadi Wurayah, which is home to over a hundred species of animals and 300 species of plants.