You are not alone in the screen time battle with your family we are all there with you!
We all wish that little ones today would have the same running in the fields and climbing trees childhood memories as we do but, unfortunately they spend more time on an ipad, tv and phone.
Sadly the amount of leisure time we all spend in front of the screen is directly causing our children to disconnect from one of the best childhood experiences - Nature. Playtime in nature, especially unstructured, imaginative, exploratory play is increasingly recognized as an essential component of a wholesome child development.
Cornell University environmental psychologists reported in 2003 that children with more nature in their direct environment received lower ratings then peers without nature on measures of behavioral conduct disorders, anxiety and depression. In Norwegian and Swedish preschools for example, nature plays an enormous component of a child's day and consequently, these countries rank in as the highest levels of preschool education both academically and socially.
All this information is great but, how does a busy rural Los Angeles family get their child off the screens and into nature?
Here are some easy tips I can recommend:
1) Take you child on a hike on a Sunday morning. Let them explore the unpaved paths and climb rocks and trees. Let their imagination wonder and give them the space to work and explore all of their five senses. :)
If you live in LA here is a list of some fun kid friendly hiking places:
- Malibu Creek State Park
- Solstice Canyon
- Runyon Canyon (Less kid friendly but, it is centrally located)
2) Have a family weekend gateway in a near by camping ground. Instead of the typical resort vacation, be adventurous! Take your family camping. Yes... the old fashioned bug friendly camping vacation. :) It's an amazing experience for your child and it surely is a bonding experience for the entire family.
Wheeler Gorge Campground is a close one to LA and it is beautiful. It has a gorgeous waterfall and it is super kid friendly. Make sure to arrive early, it gets busy quickly.
3) Have a fun family dinner picnic under the stars once a week in your backyard or a nearby park. :)
Hope this all helps getting your child off the screens and into the best place on earth....Our beautiful and magical world! :)
Feel free to share your comments or send me an e-mail! firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie Le Petit Gan
Below is a book I strongly recommend. A must read for every parent. :)