Getting kids off the couch and engaged in physical activity is a challenge that all parents face, and the increasing interest in video games and smartphones only makes it harder to keep kids active. Yet, there are many things you can do besides getting upset and unplugging their electronics. With a little ingenuity, you can motivate kids to be active and get moving on their own.
Model Physical Fitness
Kids depend upon the adults around them to model a healthy lifestyle. Spend a few minutes thinking about how you spend your time at home. Perhaps, everyone in the family buries their head in their smartphones in the evening. Instead, gather your kids and go for a walk after dinner. Alternatively, round up the neighbors for a soccer game at the park. Adults versus kids is always fun! Showing your kids that you enjoy being active will encourage them to make exercise a part of their lifestyle.
Send Them to Summer Camp
Sleepaway camp is more than just a way for parents to teach kids to be more independent. At summer camp, there are tons of outdoor activities planned that will challenge kids both physically and mentally. As your kid does exciting things such as learn how to perform a jump on water skis, they will hardly even notice that they are getting exercise. Many of these activities become lifelong loves that encourage an active lifestyle well into adulthood.
Explore Alternatives to Favorite Sports
Sometimes, kids get bored with their current outlets for exercise. When this happens, try switching it up to spur some motivation. For example, dance class can help a gymnast improve their rhythm and flexibility or soccer can improve kicking skills for a football player. Doing something new for a season often revives a kid’s interest in staying physically active.
Trying to compete with video games is not difficult when you know how to tap into your kid’s interests. Instead of offering the same, boring suggestion to go outside and play, give your kid some genuine opportunities to try out new skills. By focusing on filling those periods of downtime, such as summers, with wholesome outdoor activities, your kid will be excited to discover their strength and stamina improving with each new activity they join.
In this day and age where everything from shopping for clothes, buying groceries and even socializing has moved online, it is not a surprise that playtime for kids has also gone virtual. Playgrounds are not as crowded because kids have their tablets to tap on. While being well-versed with technology is one thing, it is also equally important to appreciate outdoor play benefits which helps kids absorb a lot of social mannerisms that would be difficult to learn in online game rooms. Kids who just cannot get away from their beloved gadgets can be introduced to the world of outdoor games by the way of summer camps. Here are just some of the ways a summer at camp can help your child develop a better personality.
Knowing the Meaning of Society
When children go to a summer camp, they are assigned outdoor tasks which are usually done as part of a team. In such a scenario, where the kids have no gadgets to turn to for help, they must learn to rely on their fellow teammates. This will help them understand how dependent you are upon others to accomplish even the smallest of tasks. This inter-dependency will create a mini-version of society which will help them understand how important people are to each other. Gadgets tend to make people think it is easy to live without person-to-person contact and this can turn them into socially awkward individuals. Outdoor team activities will help the child discover that feeling of belonging to a bigger group. This is a very important experience to counter the feeling of loneliness that so many of the youth suffers from today.
Decision Making Abilities
At summer camp, outdoor activities test your decision-making skills. While kids may only need to make choices in order to win a small game, it will help instill a confidence in them that they are able to make decisions.
As they make decisions for a team, they will see the outcome of it right there and then. This will help them overcome the fear of making a choice.
At a camp, a child is put in a new environment amongst new people. During a trek or a campfire game, they have no option but to open up to these strangers and work with them. This kind of a completely new environment gives them confidence that they can overcome any challenges.
Also, this will introduce the child to a whole new world outside of their home and school. This will also make them realize that the world is a much bigger place. They will get a new perspective towards life and will be more confident in their approach.
Whether a summer camp is about skiing, trekking, swimming, or any other type of outdoor activity will teach a camper endurance. Such exercises encourage kids to stretch his or her limits. It helps them understand that they are capable of doing much more than they give themselves credit for. This is a big lesson on appreciating self-worth and every child should be given a chance to learn it.
The great outdoors has a lot of lessons to be learned but only if you are committed to being a good student, and summer camps are a great way to get a kid get interested in them. They will not only make them healthier but will also sculpt them into a much improved and wholesome version of themselves.