For any parent the battle to get kids off of tech is no easy task. From YouTube videos to streaming cartoons, the internet provides a wealth of entertainment and can keep kids quiet for hours.
A recent report by Ofcom have found that small children – that’s children aged three to four – are spending nearly eight hours a week online. The study also shows that 79% of five to seven year olds go online for nine hours a week and 52% of kids aged between eight and eleven have their own tablet. For all the hours that are spent in front of the artificial glow of a screen, it could be spent moving, playing or even just getting some fresh air, which is something that any young child should get excited about.
Troubling statistics like this have prompted parents and schools to take action and to reintroduce playing outside – no matter what the weather. There has been mixed responses with leaving a child out in the rain during lunchtime, but, the majority of arguments can be solved by simply introducing appropriate clothing.
With more schools always opting for outside play, even in wet conditions, you may have to consider what footwear, coats and rainproof clothing you are sending your kids to school in. If you can provide a waterproof option, or even just an umbrella, this will ensure your child doesn’t get caught up in the unexpected chill.
More and more people in Britain are taking note of the statistics as outdoor schools are on the rise. Pre-schoolers attending these schools play outside no matter what the conditions. Supporters say that a child’s confidence grows as they use their imagination to learn away from a screen.
Many other ‘indoor’ schools are opting for exercise programs to get their unfit kids moving. Thousands of schools around the globe have signed up to The Daily Mile – which gets children running for 15 minutes every day, in the hope to battle obesity. This may seem like quite a dramatic move, to have to introduce such schemes into lesson plans but if children are spending hours behind a screen there needs to be a balance of healthy exercise somewhere for their well being.
Returning to simpler times may not be a bad thing, as many before the ‘snowflake’ generation have survived feats far worse. Children follow in their parent’s footsteps, so if you introduce them to the excitement of the outdoors your children will love it too. With the continued growth in technology, how to keep kids off computer screens for longer is yet to be answered. But, essentially, the more time they spend outside, the better.