We parents keep on complaining that now-a-days kids don’t play outdoors. We also say that kids like to be stuck to the gadgets like phones, tablets and television all the time! Really? Not really. It’s totally up to us as parents on how we make the outdoor play engaging. Believe me kids are still the same kids how we used to be in our childhood. They love to play, jump, run around, and be close to the nature. Kids are bubbling with energy and we have to channelize this energy towards outdoor play.
Outdoor play offers multiple benefits to kids like –
- Honing motor skills of toddlers and pre-schoolers. When kids jump and run freely, they are actually utilizing and polishing their physical skills. Hand-eye co-ordination, better focus are some areas that can be improved with outdoor play.
- We should not ignore the risk of obesity and related diseases in the childhood. Outdoor play ensures kids burn calories and stay fit.
- It promotes bonding with siblings, friends and parents. Kids learn many new aspects of friendship and other relationships when they play outdoors.
When you are outdoors with your kids, you can utilize this time more fruitfully and can teach some maths concepts or science related facts in an interesting manner. Outdoor play can indeed contribute to learning. Have a look at this interesting article to learn the 1-2-3s of Outdoor activities – http://bit.ly/2agv6jV
As parents, my hubby and I try to ensure that kids get enough amount of outdoor play time. Be it playground or parks, or quick outings nearby, there are many outdoor options available even in this digital era.
1. Send kids to the neighbourhood Playground everyday
In Singapore, there is no dearth of playgrounds. Every nook and corner has well-equipped playgrounds for kids. Swings, Slides, Free play area is available at these playgrounds. Generally, on weekdays, kids are busy in school and enrichment classes. But we ensure that they go down and play in the playground at least for an hour or so. They run, jump, slide, swing and bond with their friends. It is their little world and it is so beautiful!
It is amazing to see their sweaty, dusty but happy faces when they come back from the playground.
2. Take them to Night Walks
This is my favourite activity. Sometimes, after dinner, we just take them downstairs for a stroll. We discover new interesting things every now and then even if it is the same neighbourhood! We see snails, we get wowed by cats and we appreciate colors and fragrance of flowers. Sometimes, we collect dry leaves to make some art out of it and sometimes we just talk about school, friends and any sweet nothings!
Such walks ensure that they do physical activity and at the same time we can share our thoughts with kids and vice-versa.
3. Plan short getaways whenever time permits
We all need to break away from routine. Just like adults, kids also need to see new places and gain new experiences. Every time travelling long distance might not be possible. Thankfully, Singapore has a wide array of destinations around it.
So yes, we take our kids to nearby islands, amusement parks and highlands whenever there are long weekends or school holidays. They get to see new culture, eat new food and gather awesome memories. We choose only those destinations where kids have loads of activities to do example swimming, snorkeling, enjoying rides and so on.
4. Visit Parks, Reservoirs, Beaches and other natural habitat
Weekend is a good time to venture out and visit parks and beaches. Singapore has lots of beautiful parks, reservoirs and beaches. In fact, there are farms too! We take the kids to all these places one at a time on weekends. Seriously, they don’t even remember the electronic gadgets at all during these outings.
In parks, they get to see trees, fruits and flowers while beaches give them sand play options and playing with waves. Farms and other natural habitat offer them to observe insects, small creatures and get to know the cycle of nature.
All these trips are mentally simulating and physically strenuous for kids and us. Lessons that we learn during these activities are simply priceless!
5. Visit museums, indoor playgrounds and other Singapore attractions –
When the weather is not good or when kids are a bit under the weather, we don’t want too much physical exhaustion for them. We still want them to experience outdoors in more controlled way. Visiting museums, indoor playgrounds and other attractions in Singapore can be a great option at such times.
Museums offer so much to see and learn. Kids learn about history and rich heritage that we have and their respect for the country increases even more. On the other hand, Indoor Playgrounds give them an opportunity to play, role-play and enjoy in an indoor environment.