It’s June, and that means it’s time for kids, teens, and even adults to enjoy some great outdoor summer activities. The sun will shine, the birds will sing, and warm breezes will float across yards all throughout the New River Valley. It’s the perfect opportunity to get outside and appreciate God’s creation. Unfortunately, that will not happen with many teens and kids this summer. They will stay inside, watching some streaming service, scrolling on their smart phones, or playing video games for hours at a time. DigitalWellnessLab.org reports that 66 percent of kids between the ages of eight and 12 play video games for an average of two hours per day. Fifty-six percent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 play video games for 2.5 hours per day. There are even some kids who play much more than that. But playing video games is not the lone culprit here. Playing outdoors seems to have become a lost art, surrendered to movies, social media platforms, and other time-consuming occupations.
This really is sad to think about, when there are so many great outdoor activities waiting for kids and teens all across our region. We’re not just talking about organized activities. There is a world of fun and imagination right outside every door. All it takes is that first step. We here at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, want to encourage all kids and teens to get outside this summer. This month, let’s discuss a few of the amazing activities to keep you busy in God’s great creation.
Choose Some Great, Healthy Outdoor Summer Activities!
Every parent and guardian will be all too familiar with these sentences: “I’m bored! There’s nothing to do!” Kids and teens alike will look out a window and say, “What do you want me to do out there?” But being outside is anything but boring! There are countless outdoor activities that anyone can participate in and enjoy. One idea is playing pickup sports. In the past, pickup games could be found on every block in every town. Whether it was a basketball game under a driveway hoop or a baseball game on a corner lot, kids and teens played from morning until night, stopping only for lunch. These days, however, sports tend to be more organized, league-driven, and specialized. Games in the neighbor’s yard are now few and far between. Pick up a bat, a ball, and a glove, and go find your friends! There is no need for coaches or a lined field. Playing pickup games is one great way to get some exercise and enjoy the warm weather.
Maybe you are not athletically inclined. This, however, doesn’t exclude you from enjoying some time outside this summer. There are so many things that you can do outdoors. Take a hike in the woods. Find a nature trail near you, and lose yourself in the beauty of an afternoon among the trees and flowers. Get out your bike, pump up those tires, and go for a long, relaxing ride. Study the wildlife and plant life in your own backyard, including bugs and birds. Buy guides at your local bookstore, and learn how to identify different animals, fish, trees, and flowers. Go for a swim. Go fishing. Even if you live in town, there is so much to do so close to you. You just have to truly look. Sometimes, it’s even worth it just to sit and watch a day pass by, enjoying the sunshine and the breeze. There is an entire world outside of your door if you just turn off your devices and look.
Getting Outside Helps You to Appreciate Creation, Use Your Imagination
In the Bible, Psalm 95:3-5 reads, “For the LORD is a great God, and a great king above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.” God is the Artist of all creation. One of the reasons He created the beautiful world around us is for our enjoyment. Getting outside will help you appreciate nature and what God made. It will also help you appreciate the majesty of God Himself. When you see big trees, rolling hills, and trickling streams, you see how great God is. Psalm 19:1 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” As kids and teens see how animals live and how plants and trees grow, they will see the Master and His plan in it all.
Another thing that outdoor activity will do is help minds grow and learn. When kids and teens turn off their video game consoles and put down their smart phones, they start instead to use their imaginations. Many adults look back fondly on childhood memories of playing in the woods or in a yard, making up games and creating adventures. This took imagination, and using an imagination will help a mind to expand. Kids can experience adventure, excitement, and fun every day. It’s all in where you search for it.
The R.O.C.K. Club Encourages You to Explore Your World
Our staff at The R.O.C.K. Club in Radford, VA, cares about the kids and teenagers of the New River Valley. We understand that playing and spending time outside is a key part of their development. Our area of Southwestern Virginia has so much to offer, and we want them to experience it! We are a faith-based daycare and educational support service, offering a wide assortment of programs. Our goal is to help parents and guardians set their kids on the path to success. This is not just success in life, but spiritual success, too. We want them to do well in their scholastic endeavors and grow closer to God. But, as it is summer, students may think that the learning is over for three months. There is a whole world to learn about, right outside your home. Go find it.
For more information on the faith-based services we offer here at The R.O.C.K. Club, or to find out how you can have a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ, call us at (540) 267-3000. Now that school’s out, go and enjoy some healthy outdoor summer activities!