The other day, I observed a toddler in the child seat of the cart watching a video on her mother’s smartphone while Mom shopped. I remember chatting with my toddler while we shopped, explaining things about the store and the groceries we were putting in the cart. Not to be self-righteous, but our culture is changing in so many ways, some of them not good for our brain development!
Today’s kids are being reared in a technology culture, and many are spending too many hours a week with hands on an iPad or a video game of some sort. Some children don’t know what to do when turned loose in the backyard. Creative play building forts, hunting lizards or bugs, digging in the dirt, making things out of leaves, sticks and mud, watching the antics of birds… are great for the developing brain. These are wonderful ways for children to explore their worlds learning about nature hands-on.
Texas Parks and Wildlife gives ten reasons to get your children playing outside this spring and summer:
- Be healthier physically and mentally
- Do better in school.
- Have higher self-esteem
- Have good self-discipline
- Feel more capable and confident.
- Be good problem-solvers.
- Be more cooperative with others.
- Be more creative.
- Feel connected to nature.
- Be tomorrow’s conservation leaders.
So, let’s play…OUTSIDE. Become a hiking family. Discover birding together. Texas has a plethora of great parks, and many trails to explore, for fun at little expense. Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife site to look at the possibilities!