As parents, we often remember the days when we were kids and the endless amount of time that we spent outside without the distractions of video games and iPhones. We long for our own kids to have those moments of getting messy in the creek or simply enjoy a quiet time with their favorite hobby. However, with the inundation of electronics in our current culture, it seems impossible to give our children those expressive and engaging moments.
You don’t have to look too far though to find those idyllic experiences for your own child. Many are readily available in your own neighborhood.
Consider Going Local
If you’re wanting to get your kids out of the house and exploring the world around them, consider having them join a local club such as 4H or the Girl/ Boy Scouts of America. These clubs get children out in to the community and offer them several experiences they otherwise might not have including animal husbandry, sewing, and gardening.
Joining local clubs and group, such as Girl Scouts and 4H, are also beneficial for children because they give children the opportunity to both engage with and benefit the community they live in. Being an active member of the community teaches children civility, accountability, and responsibility which are all wonderful moral lessons to carry through life.
Turning your child on to music can be one of the greatest gifts you ever give them. Not only does music enhance your child’s creativity, but it has also been proven to help their academic lives as well.
Many schools offer opportunities for your child to become involved in band, orchestra, or choir. However, school extracurricular activities aren’t for everyone. If your child is interested in music, but not in being a part of school musical activities, consider other avenues. Through LessonRating, parents are able to find music instructors in their areas to offer private lessons. Local conservatories and community colleges may also offer youth courses, and many cities now have Schools of Rock that their children can attend to attain an education in more modern music.
Pick Up the Paintbrushes
If your kid is more crafty and creative, consider fostering their growth as an artist. The fine arts are wonderful ways in which your children can learn to better express themselves, engage the world abstractly, and think critically. Like music, children that are more versed in the fine arts, are more likely to do better emotionally and academically.
Art courses for kids can usually be found at area schools, local community colleges and universities, and museums that may be in your city. However, you don’t have to enroll your child into an art class to foster their creative desires. Simply the act of buying them paintbrushes, paints, canvases, pencils, and other art supplies can nurture their creativity, and help turn that creativity into a lifetime activity.
Get Lost in a Book Club
Book clubs aren’t just for adults. In fact, kids can get involved in book clubs through their local libraries or start their own. Local libraries typically offer activities that coincide with the books kids are reading to maintain interest and to help kids get the most out of their reading experiences.
However, you don’t have to rely on libraries to take your children on wild adventures in books. You can help your child create a local book club, and then, with the help of sites like Pinterest, come up with numerous activities that support their reading experiences. Building rafts to mimic Huck Finn’s or creating their own ‘District’ costume to pay homage to the Hunger Games are a few reading activity favorites!
Activities for your children don’t have to be solo activities for your children. Parents are the best kind of role models, and can demonstrate positive behaviors that can get your kids off the couch and exploring the world around them in real time. If you have some free time, consider taking your children to local museums, the zoo, the area state parks, and any other places that may spark their curiosity. You’ll get some great quality time with your kids, and you may just stumble upon an activity that may turn in to your kid’s passion.
Dance, outdoor sports leagues, theatre, hooping – the list is endless. Childhood doesn’t need to be experienced behind the screen of an iPhone or iPad, and for parents who want more creative, eco-friendly, and engaging experiences for their children, there is a wide array of activities. They simply need to look for them.
Photo Credit: Free Digital Photos
What is your favorite way to engage with your children?
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