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Less Screen Time and More Time Outdoors for Young Kids

The rapid development of technology and its increased availability is bringing about significant changes in people’s lives, especially in their ways of entertainment and relaxation. If earlier children spent practically all their free time in the fresh air coming up with different games, catching fish, and communicating with each other, this has changed significantly over the past ten years (Leatherwood Cannon). Many parents now prefer to give their young kids a tablet or phone and allow them to play video games. Firstly, this is what many children want, and secondly, the parents themselves are not worried about the safety of their kids (Moloney, para. 4). Despite the many benefits of electronics, it is imperative for young children to spend much more time outdoors because nature and fresh air contribute to their better growth and development, as well as the acquisition of the necessary social skills.

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To begin with, to learn how to communicate with people in the future, resolve conflicts, admit one’s guilt, put aside one’s position, and be a polite and good person, children need socialization. It is evident that electronics cannot give a young kid enough communication with peers because live dialogues and messages on social networks are two completely different processes (Cohen, para. 3). It is live communication and observation of other children that will allow the young child to learn to recognize and express emotions, not to be afraid to express their opinions, and be more socially active, which is very important both in school and adulthood (Lynch).

Further, outdoor play is very beneficial for growing organisms. The sun provides essential vitamins, the deficit of which is not easy to make up for with medicines (Hampton). Increased physical activity can only be achieved by running and jumping with friends outside, and no video games can replace the joy of spending time in the sun and fresh air (Editor in Chief, para. 3). Daily physical activity is vital for young children as it becomes a habit, teaches eating healthy, improves overall wellbeing, promotes healthy sleep, and reduces the risk of childhood or adolescent obesity (Morin). It is the excess weight that can be a consequence of the fact that parents give children electronics as entertainment, so it is crucial to reduce screen time for young kids (McCarthy).

Besides, it is difficult to disagree with the fact that no video games can replace a child’s emotions from the first caught fish or the collected bouquet of wildflowers. Young kids should independently become acquainted with nature and its riches (Lee). Of course, they can and should be shown documentaries about nature or animals, but it is much better if parents take them outside and truly show these wonders (Freeland, para. 2).

It is believed that electronics have a positive effect on children. For example, video games develop qualities such as decision-making, a quick analysis of the situation, creative thinking, and following the rules (Leatherwood). What is more, using smartphones or computers improves hand-eye coordination (Editor in Chief). Of course, these are great advantages, but all these qualities children can get by walking, playing sports games, and simply communicating with each other.

To draw a conclusion, one may say that spending time outside is vital for young children. Walking, fishing, getting acquainted with nature, and communicating with other kids are those experiences that contribute greatly to their wellbeing, emotional state, and future lives. There are no electronics that can replace such experiences, while being outside may provide children with all those benefits that video games and social media have.

Works Cited

Cohen, Danielle. “Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature.” Child Mind Institute.

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Editor in Chief. “16 Pros and Cons of Children Using Technology.” Connect Us, 2018.

Freeland, Amber. “The Benefits of Playing Outside.” Cooper Institute, 2018.

Hampton, Morgan. “Technology: Is It Making Kids Anti-Social?”. The Daily Universe, 2014. Web.

Leatherwood Cannon, Stacy. “Pros & Cons of Screen Time: How to Manage Your Child’s Use.” Henry Ford Live Well, 2018.

Lee, Katherine. “Reasons Why You Should Unplug Your Kids from Technology.” Very Well Family, 2020.

Lynch, Matthew. “Less Screen Time and More Socialization.” The Tech Edvocate, 2018.

McCarthy, Claire. “6 Reasons Children Need to Play Outside.” Harward Health Publishing, 2020.

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Moloney, Anastasia. “Technology Impact on Child Growth & Development.” The Tot.

Morin, Amy. “The Harmful Effects of Too Much Screen Time for Kids.” Very Well Family. 2020.

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