Mental health in children is on the rise. According to NHS figures in the UK, one in eight people under the age of 19 have a mental health disorder.
The US healthcare system reports similar results attributing the upturn in child illness to a poor diet and insufficient exercise. Too much screen time is also a significant cause of poor mental health.
The “Big Three” chronic health conditions in children are obesity, asthma and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
On the flip side, exercise, the great outdoors and fresh air is excellent for mental and physical health. Yet kids rarely get excited about exercise when they’re entrenched in the latest video game or chatting with their friends on social media.
The solution is to make exercise fun, entertaining and rewarding. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Organize a Camp Night
Nature has a positive impact on mental and physical health. A change of environment – where there is no electricity – is also fun for kids. Camping in the great outdoors is an adventure that is not expensive but revitalizes the family and helps you to strengthen bonds.
Moreover, you don’t have to go far to camp out. Your back yard will suffice. If you live near the countryside why not find a picturesque spot next to a lake or in the forest. Take ball games with you, go hiking and collect firewood for exercise.
Go On A Nature Walk
Cultivating health and well being means encouraging your kids to play outdoors. Your kids may not be enamored with the idea of a nature walk, but if you create a scavenger hunt, it gives them a goal that keeps them active and entertained.
As a matter of fact, there are loads of fun things you can do on a nature walk. You can even build in educational experiences that inspire your children and encourages them to learn and acquire knowledge.
Design A Cryptic Treasure Hunt
Children love presents, so when you buy them something new or want to reward them, why not make treat-time into an activity. You can do this by creating a treasure hunt that has clues hidden in various places around the home, garden or building block.
Each clue should have a cryptic message that encourages lateral and flexible thinking. You can also build in exercises such as “run around the block to find your next clue waiting for you”.
The treasure hunt should be difficult enough to build up their resilience and determination, but not so hard that they give up and slip into a bad mood.
Encourage Evening Walks With Milestones
Hundreds of scientific studies show that walking has numerous benefits for mental and physical health. Moreover, because walking is considered a moderate exercise, you have to do it more often. Experts recommend five times a week.
Building a walking hour into your daily schedule takes kids away from the screen and into the green. You may also need to make walks fun and rewarding to keep your offspring motivated enough to go out every night.
One way of doing that is to download the Sweatcoin app. The app has a built-in pedometer that converts steps into a digital currency called SWC. You can use SWC in part exchange for discounts on hundreds of products.
With the promise of something new once they achieve their goals should be enough to motivate your children to go for a walk every night.