Kids, Home and Nature

The lifestyles of families and children are changing as exercise and activities in the fresh outdoor air decline.

As a kid I couldn't finish supper quickly enough so that I could go outdoors to play softball in the vacant lot or join the street hockey out front. There were many near zero cost, fresh air activities like roasting marshmallows at the back of the lot or exploring the neighborhood with the other kids that were always out doing something. There were an endless number of things to do and we seemed never to be bored; and it was pretty well all healthy. As we grew older there was fishing, hiking, swimming, skiing and hockey using up our free time and none were very costly.

Much of these pastimes would continue for many years and the memories too. In the winter there was an outdoor rink one block from home where we skated and played hockey in the evenings. As the temperatures were often well below freezing we regularly made trips to the adjacent wood hut where a pot bellied stove was humming. With our skates off we would rub our toes to ease the thawing as we chatted.

This kind of fun is still occurring in varied ways with families today, where they are able to, and inclined to make it happen. But it has also been made much more difficult. There are parents' busy days with work and commuting, so often required to maintain the 'in' lifestyle, for those that are tuned in to this very common trait in our society. Some sports can be an expensive part of kids' healthy entertainment today, but there are activities out there requiring little or no expense. Meeting in the park or on the road with a neighbor family for casual chat or to kick the ball around, Hiking or playing any outdoor game or working on a garden or other project with family can often be of no interest to many, yet such a valuable event going forward in life.

In the 40s we were also missing out on so much that is available today. We didn't have all these conveniences and technology, some of which are so wonderful, like the home computer. Having owned one for 25 years I would not want to do without.

Health wise perhaps some of the new wonders are not so wonderful, especially when the time that it consumes does not include outside exercise, learning, mixing with friends nor involve family time together. Being addicted to video games for example, does not add any value to one's life as this can gobble up hundreds of hours, but in small doses can be very entertaining.

Television is another story as the young, and old too, are often glued to the box for many hours a day. There are many drawbacks to watching stretched out programming that pumps commercials into the room telling us all about what we are missing and must have. Sadly many kids today may be stuck at home with this electronic companion.

In Green Living Ideas Reenita Malhotra Hora provides insight and suggestions in an interesting article:

Eco Kids, the Sustainable Generation
As you integrate green living choices into your own life, you might be wondering how kids fit into the equation. What does it really mean to have a "green kid?" Greening your children is about going beyond the things that you do to create a green lifestyle for your family—it is really all about education. Today’s kids will soon rule tomorrow’s world. The best that we can possibly do to prepare the next generations is to consistently teach them about the green living values that are critical for their own survival. After all, they do share a common future with our planet.

It goes on to list tips
Outdoor Education with green kid activity ideas.
Travel Time and exploring nature ideas.
Green at Play - giving kids some positive directional suggestions.
Green Media Toolbox - make less use but good use out of TV.

Above all, have your kids do as you would do yourself. The truth is kids learn more from there their parents than anyone or anything else—if living green is important to you, then rest assured they too will pick up the habit. You are without doubt the most important person in their life, and chances are they will want to do what you do. Remember though, you won’t have them for a very long, so while you do—teach your children well!
more . . . . Read the article by Reenita Malhotra Hora at Green Living Ideas.

This article is a revision and extension of an earlier post as per Article Blogs and Reposting.
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