While we all get cozy by the fireplace, embrace the winter season, and prepare to welcome the New Year, I think it’s high time we realize that both us and our kids have been spending most of 2020 with our eyes glued to the screens. Of course, while it can’t be helped with classes done online and most work meetings conducted through Zoom, you can’t really say anyone’s wasting their time with something unproductive.
However, with what little free time we can get during the weekends, we should strive to change this not-so-healthy habit of being inseparable from our gadgets. And, instead of lounging on the couch all day and binging through shows on Netflix, we strongly suggest you start the year right by unplugging and bringing the fun outside!
Boredom Is Contagious And Dangerous
Admittedly, even scrolling endlessly through your news feed will inevitably become boring, and there’ll be nothing more you can leech from your smartphones in terms of fun and engagement. The same goes for playing on consoles and watching through videos on YouTube; there are thresholds and past that are boredom levels that are contagious and dangerous.
Dangerous in the sense that toddlers can become rowdy, everyone’s mood becomes grumpy, and all it takes is one small slip-up to ruin everyone’s day, which is something we want to avoid as much as possible. So, in place of all these inhibiting activities, let us introduce to you fun outdoor activities you can do now.
#1 Backyard Garden Camping
First up, we have backyard garden camping, building your own campsite, gathering by the campfire, and spending the night outside in the comfort of your own garden. If most of the family has been cooped up in their rooms all-day, going outside and even camping for just a couple of nights will be a great way to get some fresh air and much-needed sunlight. Plus, there are a plethora of activities you can do, from telling stories, making s’mores, and maybe even some arts and crafts if you’re up for the job.
However, before you rush onto Amazon and order a tent and camping supplies, take this opportunity to scope your backyard garden and see any potential risks or problems you might run into. Problems like unkempt grass, aluminum fencing that needs replacing, or a neglected garden can be potentially dangerous if you have toddlers who are rowdy and just run everywhere.
#2 Water Sliding And Games
If you’re less of a camping-type of parent and want to use as much daylight as possible, why not bust out the water guns and water slide to give everyone the chance to cool off and have some fun. With all this time spent stuck at home and our butts glued to our beds, we might have even forgotten what it feels like to splish and splash all your worries away, which certainly makes this therapeutic for us parents too.
In terms of making it happen, we recommend buying a water slide kit so that you don’t have to go through the trouble of setting everything up all DIY style. However, if you’re resourceful and know a thing or two about making your own water slides feel free to do it yourself and save a bit on the budget side of things.
#3 Go On A Night Hike/Trail
Since both of the previous options stuck to the backyard, this last alternative is all about embracing nature and exploration, going on a night hike. Unlike your typical trail, which consists of going out in the morning, potentially being clumped with other hiking groups, and under the heat of the sun, a night hike solves all these problems. You get to experience the outdoors without having to worry about too many people, getting tired from the sun, or waking up too early.
We suggest sticking to less popular hiking spots so that you follow social distancing guidelines and remain safe while you’re outside. Also, be sure to take a camera with you because you won’t want to miss out on taking cherished photos of you and your family on your first night hike together.
Limit Screen Time
At the end of the day, we need to understand the importance of limiting screen time. You wouldn’t want to spend 2021 constantly checking your phone and the entire household on their laptops 24/7. So, start with a few baby steps and see which of these activities interest you the most; you might be surprised to find out how excited everyone else in the family is to get out every once in a while.