5 Simple Steps to a Better Screen-Green Lifestyle Balance
Are your kids spending too much time staring at screens?
Do they get outside enough? When was the last time you all took a bike ride through the park together?
It seems hard to make that happen, doesn’t it?
Well, you’re not alone: new research conducted for us found that today’s kids spend way less time outside than their parents did. And more than half of all Canadians feel that they, personally, don’t get enough outdoor time.
Sadly, as a result, we’re missing out. Adults and children alike benefit greatly from spending time outside in a natural environment. Research shows that spending time outside delivers mental and physical health benefits, makes people feel more relaxed, less stressed – and makes them feel that they’ve gotten a break from the pressures in their daily lives.
For kids, spending time playing in nature breeds creativity and problem-solving skills. And when done together, it helps families reconnect with each other.
So why don’t we get outside more often? What’s stopping us from unplugging a little bit and de-stressing?
For some, it’s the weather: too hot, too cold, too wet, too many bugs! For some parents, they feel societal pressure to fill their kids’ free time with scheduled, organized activities instead of free-form play out in nature.
But probably the most common complaint is that of a shortage of time: we’re all crazy busy as it is, and besides, doesn’t getting back to nature mean driving a long distance into an unspoiled provincial or national park?
The answer is no.
Our research found more than 80 percent of Canadians have a local park close to where we live. One in five of us lives within a mere 250 metres of a park. And, the fact is, you don’t even have to go that far to connect back with nature.
Do you live in a house with a backyard? Or in a multi-unit building with some lawn and gardens around it? With the right perspective, even that bit of green space can offer a whole host of possibilities.
With the great weather now here to stay for the season, to help you rediscover the joys of nature this summer we’ve got 100 Nature Moments for 100 Days of summer – here are five to get you started:
- Lie on the grass and listen to the sounds of nature. How many different sounds can you hear?
- Look for a bee and watch how it collects the pollen and nectar of the flowers.
- Identify five different smells at a nearby park or in your backyard.
- Play a game of catch barefoot in the grass.
- Play in a sprinkler on the lawn.
It really can be that simple and easy. Because even though these are not elaborate nor complex activities, and they require virtually no advance planning, they still offer tremendous benefits.
Not only do simple changes like these deliver significant, positive changes to your family’s routine, they can lay the groundwork for new habits which offer a far greater screen-green lifestyle balance, on into the future.
What’s a single, simple way that you can bring your family closer to nature? Tell us and hashtag your suggestions with #NatureMoments. For more ideas from our list of 100 Nature Moments for 100 Days of summer, download here.