While kids nowadays are technology experts, they are also missing out on a huge part of their childhood. Yes, some video games might improve kids’ hand–eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and even teach them basic technical skills that will reap rewards down the road— but something seems to be missing. What happened to pure child-like freedom where anything is possible and imaginations run wild? Do kids still experience the same joy, connection and carefree laughter as they did back in the good old days?
In today’s world, Generation Z will somehow always depend on technology and appreciate it. It wouldn’t make sense to take that away from them. But, balance is key. Kids get different benefits from playing outside than they do when playing video games. They become more confident, better communicators, less stressed and create a happier childhood with long lasting memories. Being healthy is not only about physical health. It’s about finding the balance between being physically and emotionally well.
Playing outside is a stress reliever for kids. You might think, “Do kids even get stressed at that age?” Yes. Something as little as everyday classes or homework can stress your child out. Researchers have found a disorder called “Nature Deficit Disorder”. In other words, not playing outdoors can be very damaging for kids. They found that children who had more opportunities to be in the natural world could better concentrate and were less stressed out with life.
You might ask, “Don’t games such as Wii Fit and Just Dance offer physical benefits?” The answer is yes. But, there are many things that kids miss out on when they only play these games. This includes connecting to nature, the freedom of inventing games themselves, imagination and interacting with others. While kids should continue to become technology savvy, they should never stop growing as happy, confident, spiritual and social individuals. Finding the balance between the benefits of video games and outdoor games is what will benefit them the most.
The popular Twenty One Pilot song, Stressed Out says, “We used to play pretend, give each other different names; we would build a rocket ship and then we'd fly it far away.” If kids never play outside, would they be able to relate to these happy childhood memories, or even know how to play these games?