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How can we get children off their screens?

In today's busy world, parents often struggle to find enough time to spend with their children. Between work, endless piles of laundry, homework and of course, the daily task of working out what to feed the kids, making it and praying that they eat it!  The daily grind can make it difficult to find the time and energy to plan fun and engaging activities for the family. 

Screentime seems to give parents a heavy feeling when discussing it.  There are many benefits, kids can watch a movie happily and allow parents the time to get on with all the above, we hear them laughing with friends on their phones or gaming together and it takes away some of the guilt at not being fully present with them in the home when juggling work, home and life in general.

The guilt though… it’s big.  For many of us, growing up with only a few tv channels that showed kids cartoons in the morning and then in the evening, there wasn’t anything to watch, meaning we ended up doing something else, even if it was moaning how bored we were to our parents, eventually we would find something to do.  The Summer months is often more of a struggle for parents with screentime, when the days are longer (and the kids waking up with the birds...) and we walk past our kids’ bedrooms, blacked out with gaming monitors on, it can feel so wrong and getting that balance is a constant challenge for most parents.  We want them to be outside but the suggestion of a walk or trip to the park often causes complaints and makes for a difficult day ahead. 

We all know the benefits of spending time in nature; it allows them to burn off excess energy and whether they're running around in a park or hiking through the woods, outdoor activities engage children's bodies and minds in ways that video games, social media or TV shows simply cannot. Being outside exposes children to fresh air and sunlight, which can improve their overall health and well-being.

Of course, many parents are hesitant to let their children venture out into the great outdoors alone. Things don’t perhaps feel as free as they may have been for us growing up. Holiday clubs like The Outdoors Project that focus on outdoor activities can provide a safe and engaging environment for kids to explore and learn in. Our trained staff can guide children through nature walks, teach them about plant and animal life, and provide opportunities for hands-on exploration, that’s not even mentioning the hugely FUN aspect of our clubs; the water fights, nerf wars and campfires. These experiences are not simply fun and stimulating for children, but also educational - providing them with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world around them.

Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help reduce stress and anxiety, boost creativity, and improve overall mood. For children, this can mean a better ability to handle stressors like homework or peer pressure, and an overall happier and more positive outlook on life. The great thing is, they come home tired having spent hours outdoors in the fresh air and screentime instantly feels like it is more acceptable. Balance is found and guilt is ditched (even if it’s just for that day).  

We think that it makes sense to combine the kids’ interest and bring them to life outdoors, hence our tech meets outdoors days. This Summer, we have the nod to tech with our Minecraft Village Building activtity and Super Mario Day. Both designed for the screen lovers within us - we aren’t against it - instead showing even the most enthused gamer that the two worlds between nature and screens can collide. Both based on popular video games, we intend to bridge the gap between the online games they might be familiar with and the outdoors, by converting the virtual aspects of the games to 'real-life' games - feeding their desire for being curious, creative and having real interactions with each other.
Very often a child will first attend our clubs for a tech meets nature day and have such a fun time they'll return in future whatever the activity.

"My 7-year-old daughter adores The Outdoors Project it's the best combination of all the 'screen stuff' (Minecraft / Harry Potter etc) she thinks are important, with the outdoors games and skills that she loves!  All the staff are fantastic and really build kids confidence to explore, have fun & be kids” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“When kids don't moan about leaving a screen, you know you're onto a winner!" ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The great outdoors can be an excellent option for parents looking for childcare services that provide their children with fun, engaging, and educational experiences. With benefits ranging from physical health to improved mood and creativity, time spent in nature can help children grow and thrive in ways that other activities cannot.  Parents who use The Outdoors Project can provide their children with a unique and valuable experience, while also taking a break from their own daily responsibilities. The battle of screentime may continue at home but while the kids are with us in the outdoors you can ditch the guilt and know that they are getting some balance, fresh air and many come home asking to go straight into the garden or local park for even more outdoor fun … just warning you!