How to get your kids to venture outdoors and leave their device at home

by Anna Hughes on December 22, 2016
Most parents would agree that Cabin Fever, particularly in a child’s case, is a very real thing. And it isn’t pretty. Especially if the main event of the day involves a screen, sucking them into a digital bubble that’s difficult to burst without a fight.

With so many devices in the average home now, it’s easier than ever to lose our kids when they’re sat right in front of us.

As most of our subscribers will tell you, our Screen Time app makes the process of separating child from device, easier. But once that bubble is popped and it’s freezing outside, it’s not always just the kids who need convincing that leaving the house is a good idea. We live in the UK – we hear you!
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But hear this.

Apart from the fact that meltdowns are less likely once fresh air hits your offspring, there are a whole bunch of health benefits, both mental and physical, to be gained too.

Brave the cold and you lower their risk of obesity, cancer, nearsightedness and depression and increase their attention spans, social skills, their chance of getting strong bones and higher grades at school.   

All pretty good reasons, we think. But how long do we pause our kids devices for, for the purposes of outdoor family frolicking? Guidelines say we should aim for at least an hour a day.

Or simply refer to the child’s built-in ‘Fresh Air’ guage that sits either side of the nose behind the cheeks. When sufficiently exercised, the cheeks will become rosy. And what’s nicer than seeing your children with happy, rosy cheeked faces?*

If you need some inspiration, here’s a handy list of things you can do in the outside world during the holidays. We’d love to hear other ideas. Feel free to share them with us as well as any photos you have of you and your family out embracing the cold this Christmas. Just use #rosycheekchallenge on Instagram or Facebook or tell us about them in the comments below 🙂

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Wheel them Out

Is anyone getting new wheels this Christmas? Weather permitting, go and discover bike tracks and/or skate parks near you. Or if your local area is lacking such a place, check out http://tonyhawkfoundation.org for guidance on how one could be built near you (but not before your family outdoor time!)

Use the dog as an excuse

Make walking the dog into something more adventurous. Go that bit further than normal. Get her a new ball to play with that you can throw and encourage the kids to reach it first.

Get with the Hugge programme

Loving the latest craze for Hugge style coziness? Then get some hot chocolate in a thermos flask, wrap everyone up and venture out on a nature trail (a couple of spiders under a magnifying glass should do it). The best part is, your house is never cosier than when back from a chilly stroll. If you want to go the distance with the Hugge theme, get a fire going (carefully does it) and toast some marshmallows too.

Look no further than your backyard

If venturing out too far is an issue, simply head out into the backyard and eat a picnic, kick a ball, play catch, shoot some hoops. Maybe you could add some bonus time to their device for every point scored.

Christmas Treasure Hunt

Why should the Easter bunny have all the fun? Get creative and put together a festive outdoor treasure hunt for the kids.  Chocolate coins make for decent treasure. Or maybe some bonus time on their device in the form of a golden ticket 😉

*Please be aware that children do NOT in fact have ‘Fresh Air’ gauges behind their cheeks. We made that up. This information is a silly attempt at humor made by Screen Time Labs. We promise we will do it again 🙂

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