When we were kids...
In the 80s a typical Saturday found kids watching cartoons in the morning until the educational programs would come on. He-Man, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Care Bears, Duck Tales - just a few of our favorites. Mothers would swoop through and turn off the tv and sweep the kids out the door saying things like "Go outside. Find something to do." And out we would go - and not come back until we were hungry.
My kids have a "kid cave"
I watch my own kids and see how comfortable their "kid cave" is - full of gaming systems, comfy chairs, big TVs, tablets, computers, and cell phones. I understand why they don't want to leave the "kid cave." When I compare where they are and what they are doing to have fun with what I did as a kid - I want to hear overlap. I want to hear that they are moving and that they are experiencing nature.
When it dawned on me that the fun overlap was getting smaller, I talked with my wife about it. We live in a suburban setting - bike riding next to a car traveling at 45 mph doesn't fit. We both work full time if not more than full time. Where do we start? Here are a few ideas we put in place, and years later are still working for us.
We decided to spend more time with our kids and to provide alternatives that overlap with our hopes of increasing movement, imagination, and interaction with nature. The kids don't act deprived, and they have a lot more to talk about at the dinner table.