By: Janice Johnson-Plumer
Growing up, you would never catch me indoors. There were so many great outdoor games: kick the can, dodgeball, baseball, hide and go seek, board games, and riding bikes. I relished being outside. It was a way to be free and to exercise without knowing it was exercise. My mother would tell us to come in when the streetlights came on and I would always ask to stay out for five more minutes.
Back when I was a kid, there was no cell phone, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. It was just my bike, my feet, and my neighbors playing until it was dark. There were no texts or alerts going off letting you know your friends were calling. I miss those days.
Kids today don’t know how to play outside. A surge of technology has taken over modern-day playtime. The iPhone, iPad, Instagram, and Facebook seem to vie for our kids’ attention. It could be a beautiful day, and my son would rather play with my iPad than with his friends outside. He’s all about checking how many followers he has on Instagram.
As a mother, I truly encourage my son to ride his bike, spend time outside, and shoot hoops. Riding my bike was my mode of transportation, but my son will ride his bike for a little bit, and then he’s right back in the house. I try to limit his use of my iPad, but he manages to use it until the battery level is so low that I can’t even view a magazine that I wanted to read. I try to have a “normal” conversation with my son, but we are both our phones.
What happened to those days of being outside, reading a book, and not worrying about the latest tweet, YouTube video, and photo on Instagram? Those days seem to have disappeared, as we are now in a world of social media.
How do you encourage outdoor activities with your children? Let me know!