As a new parent, we all have the ideals of what kind of parents we will be. Our kids won’t do this, they won’t do that. One thing that comes up in almost every new parents mind is the debate on how much screen time we will allow our kids. Now we all start off with great intentions, promising ourselves a limit to very little or no screen time at all. However, as our children grow, so do our stress levels, and our ideals grow with them. I think we can all admit that what started off as a set limit can easily grow into more than we’d like due to reasons like needing to get the house cleaned or cook dinner while the kids sit quietly. While that’s no reason to judge ourselves, maybe we could all use a few alternatives to replace screen time with green time.
“Green Time” Habits For Kids
- Plant a kids only garden: By giving your children their own garden, you’re giving them an amount of responsibility, a way to express their creativity and a fun after school activity of taking care of it while contributing to our earth.
- Make an obstacle course: Use outside toys to build an obstacle course with your kids. They can breathe in some nice fresh air and take in the nature around them while winding down after school.
- Bird or tree sketching: Take your quiet time outside and spend some time under a tree, drawing some of the beautiful things and creatures that nature has to offer.
- Outdoor scavenger hunt: Create a new list each week and have the children spend some time each afternoon finding the things on their lists.
- Have a picnic: Have afternoon tea out in the back yard and relax while talking about everyone’s day.
- Do homework outside: Wherever the kids may choose; the trampoline, picnic rug, under a tree, in the garden, wherever.
Green time doesn’t have to always mean running around. It means letting our children breathe in that fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun hit their faces. It’s teaching them to appreciate and experience the world around them.
Spending time with nature has so many benefits for our children. Not only is it a chance for their minds to shut down and give space to process the information they’re learning, it gives them the freedom for mind wandering and creativity. Just like how we have our best ideas while standing in the shower! The rewards for 30 minutes of green time a day are priceless, some of them include:
- Reduced stress
- More physical activity
- Better sleep (let’s be honest, this would be amazing!)
- Improved attention
- Increased creativity and cognitive function
- And much more!
With our children finally unplugging from technology and plugging back into nature, we will start to feel those benefits too. The reduced stress and better sleep will eventually start flowing over to us and our families will be much better for it!
Check out our blog for more great reads!