This Nature Valley Ad is Guaranteed to Make you Think
Nearly every drive home from school my mom would remark how few kids there were playing on the street, and then she would go on with a story about how her afternoons were filled with bike races and avocado picking in the orchard behind her house when she was little.
This seemed like some kind of typical “mom talk” or old lady rant about the good ole' days, so I never put much thought into it. However, not too much later, I soon realized my mom is always right; those truly were the best days. Long before the invention of the iPad mom’s uncanny wisdom discovered the sadness of a lost generation that simply forgot how to play outside.
Now others are finally getting wise to the crisis she found over ten years ago:
Kids simply do not get out anymore.
In a world filled with endless technology, it’s easy to see why children no longer have the desire to go out and play. All that they ever want and need is inside in the form of a video game, tablet app, text emoji, youtube video, or facebook post.
Somehow Black Ops took the place of cops and robbers in the front yard and Minecraft stole the little imagination children had left to think of a city and build it on their own using boxes and blankets in the driveway.
Even dating websites and other social media make it entirely too easy to meet people without ever having to leave your dusty desk chair.
This generation is rapidly becoming a cult of cave people who are afraid of the sun and can’t survive on their own in the wilderness. Okay, I’m not saying we all need to be Bear Grylls and learn to catch fish with our teeth, but being outside needs to be more of a necessity.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child somehow spends an average of 7 hours in front of some screen-based entertainment media every day.
No wonder grades are plummeting in schools and reading scores are dropping. Hours of playtime and homework are being eaten away with mindless gaming and posting, and when it comes time to focus, students become jittery due to their lack of activity.
Other benefits are also being lost because children are not outside for at least 30 minutes a day. These include:
A Better Immune System
Germs are considered one of the worst entities for a kid, which is why parents sanitize their little ones after every waking second of exposure.
However, the reality is that children who experience bacteria and other germs in the open outdoors tend to have a better immune system and grow up to be healthier kids than those who are shut in and can’t adapt.
Kids who are regularly outside tend to grow up with better vision and have fewer allergies and autoimmune disorders than those who don’t.
It’s obvious that being outside makes it easy for activity. There is no room to move inside, which is why mom always yells out “stop playing catch in the kitchen” or “quit running in the halls!” Take her advice and take the play outside!
Having fun is the best form of exercise, so grab some friends and pick up a game of street hockey or soccer! A little bit of running around will increase heart health, lung function, and brain activity.
Imagination and Problem Solving
Kids now a day can’t think on their own because so many apps and games online do it for them. It’s one thing when a kid can’t create a castle out of a cardboard box, but it’s another when he can’t think of a topic for his SAT essay.
Imagination and thinking capacity starts young and begins with childhood fun! Without being outside to explore the world, a child’s creativity and problem-solving suffer and can create massive challenges later during school and in the long run.
It’s no wonder why so many children don’t get along with each other. Because of social media, kids have forgotten (or never learned) how to interact face to face and thus suffer socially in school.
They tend to feel awkward and alone even among others and become depressed because they don’t know what its like to contribute in a group. By being outside and playing, kids can interact with each other and build lasting friendships. Not to mention, the sun rays provide Vitamin D, which is a natural antidepressant proven to make even Grumpy a little more chipper.
It's time to make going outside fun again and no longer a punishment for misbehaved children. Don’t believe me? Try taking away your kids tablet or computer and see the fuss they make.
Go outside! The sun is becoming! Why have grass in your front yard if no one is going to play soccer on it?
Each generation is slowly becoming less and less active outside; it's time to reclaim the front yard before our kids forget what sunshine and tag is entirely.
If you need help exploring the great outdoors please contact us at Top 50 Ranches for fun ideas on how to get your family active again.