I hear so many moms complain about kids being tied to technology. In fact, I find myself complaining about it from time to time. But guess what? There are things that can be done about it, and technology doesn’t have to be all bad. However, the best way to get your kids to not be as tied to it, is to make exploration and non-techonology activities fun!
And so I am going to share some ideas for making exploration fun for your littles:
Explore with them
Set the example. It is really that simple. Take your kids on a bike ride, and stop to smell the flowers, or blow the giant dandelions. Kids love doing what mom and dad do, so make exploring exciting by exploring with them. On a recent trip, my son spent over an hour following Grandpa around a lake looking for “giant carp” in the reeds. He loved every minute of it and didn’t think of his iPad once.
Make it a game
Competition can be a lot of fun for exploration, so give your kids a list of items to find and see who can come back with the most unique things. This could be: rock, stick, leaf, bug (??), flower, plant.
Let them get dirty
It is really hard to get in the spirit of exploration if mom is constantly telling you to not get dirty, to watch out for mud, and to keep your clothes clean. Stop worrying about the dirt, and your kids will find more motivation to explore. It might mean more laundry, but it should be worth it.
Give creative license
Hand your kids a box of crayons, a palette of paint, or molding clay, and then step back and let them “explore” their artistic nature.
Seeking answers is a form of exploration. Ask them why, seek out the reasons. This will help kids build a natural curiosity that leads to a more exploratory soul.
I saw this cute graphic, and the thing that stood out to me the most was “Alter your course often.”
How often do we get stuck in a rut? Or stick to a routine? While this makes us sane, it can also stifle creativity and exploration. So don’t be afraid to break the mold and change the course from time to time.
Encourage sensory play
Sensory play is an amazing way to encourage exploration through colors, textures, and so much more. You can find tons of ideas for sensory play on Pinterest from bloggers all over. Try this link.
Kids love technology, so why not use that to your advantage in encouraging exploration. Hand them a digital camera so they can “explore” and take photos. Give them a GPS and a geo-cache coordinates (With your help of course). Set up a scavenger hunt that includes using their tablet to learn about the things they find. The possibilities are endless. Find a way to incorporate what your child loves into exploring.
It sounds too simple, but if you want to encourage exploration in your kids, take them exploring. Take a hike, head to the tide-pools, find a cave, do whatever it takes to spark those exploration juices in your kids. Sometimes going somewhere new and just being there can help them want to explore the world.
Explore at home
You do not have to go somewhere to explore. You can explore at home. Do science projects. Check out the yard. Watch creatures from the window. Do sensory exploration. Do art projects. Explore questions and research them. Teach your kids that exploration does not have to involve “new” or “exciting” that they can explore through reading, writing, play, and creativity at home.