In our technology fueled world it can be very difficult to pull kids away from the computer. However, getting kids out and into the world is exactly what they need! Luckily, there are some creative ways to allow technology and real world experiences to meet. This middle ground can help bridge the gap between parents and kids.
A simple way to get your kids out and experiencing life is to start a family blog with them. While kids might be loathed to go on a day trip with their parents, looking at it from a media angle might fuel them along. Encourage them to take pictures, videos, and to think about what they enjoyed. Once home sit down with them in front of the computer and start crafting the family blog. The great thing about blogging is that it can be about anything, so see what things interest your children. A young sports fan can blog about their latest sporting event, a trip to the museum can turn into an informative blog on dinosaurs, even movie and theme park reviews will work. Most kids love sharing their experiences, and blogging helps them do so.
Many traditional activities are gaining popularity with websites. An excellent example is cooking. Get your kids interested in cooking by incorporating recipe websites. Getting the child involved in searching for a recipe and finding it online is another way to bridge the technological gap. Consider a site like the dailybread.com in order to find great recipes. Once a recipe has been found, the activity moves from the computer to the kitchen. Another option is to involve your child in selecting the ingredients. Instead of going to the grocery store, take them to a local farmers market. Again, this gets them out of the house and involved in the world. You might be surprised to see how interested kids can be in food and cooking.
Another popular activity is called geocaching. This is when GPS is used to go on a real world treasure hunt. Participants hunt and explore the world for the geo cache. This is a free and fairly simple process. Log onto a geocaching site, search for your area code, and choose a geo cache. Enter the coordinates into your GPS, and start the search! Once you find the geo cache, you sign the logbook and return it to the original location. The item can be anything, but it is usually a container with a log and writing utensil. These hunts are separated by difficulty level, so make sure you pick one that is easy enough for you and your child. Pictures and stories of your search can be shared online. Kids will find this treasure hunt fun and exciting. It also allows them to use technology while being active and getting out of the house.
If your kids are spending too much time on the computer, it might be beneficial to use the technology rather than argue about it. Consider ways of incorporating the computer with more traditional activities. Not only is this a great parenting strategy, it also helps you and your children bond over common interests.