Break Your Kids Away From Screens This Spring!

By Joe Nannini

Reno dads, rejoice! While we’ve loved skiing all winter with the kids, the weather is finally starting to warm up here in the Biggest Little City, and I could not be more excited. After a year of being cooped up at home, the onset of spring in 2021 feels far more promising and, believe me, my family and I are not going to take this season for granted. We’re antsy to start exploring the outdoors again, feeling the sun on our faces, and the grass below our feet. 

Without exception, the last year has been tough on everyone including our children. We have all persevered through changes in so many of the things previously taken for granted.  

I think this is why this spring season feels far more welcoming than it has in the past. To that end, I wanted to share a few ways my family and I plan to play and enjoy the spring weather together.

Plant Something:

If you’ve got a picky eater at home, why not introduce them to new veggies by growing them yourself? Children receive so many benefits from gardening, and spring is the perfect time to start. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never planted something or if you have the greenest of thumbs. Not only does gardening encourage healthy eating, but it also teaches responsibility and environmental stewardship; it’s even been associated with an increase in academic achievement. If you don’t have a yard where you can start growing a few tomatoes, don’t worry. Urban Roots, a local nonprofit changing the way communities eat and learn through garden-based education, is providing plenty of garden time for kids at their in-person and safe Summer Camps. It’s the perfect way to get your kids outside and engaged. If you’re looking for another fun activity to do with the kids, be on the lookout for Urban Roots’ Terrarium Indoor Gardening Kits. They come with rocks, sand, moss, and even a plastic critter to keep the plants company. 

Go on a Hike:

With so many great trails around the area, it is just too easy to go on a hike with your family. Whether you’re trekking for a few miles or just out walking the many trails our area has to offer, hiking has so many great benefits. It helps improve your blood pressure, lowers your risk of heart disease, and it’s a great low-energy way to strengthen your core. We went on several snowshoe hikes during the winter, but I’m ready for a hike with a little warm sunshine!

Have a Family Picnic: 

Looking for a more mellow outdoor activity? Pack some snacks and a blanket and head to Rancho San Rafael for an outdoor picnic…there’s plenty of space to run around and expend energy, and the park is just beautiful. Plus, you can make the meal a learning experience. Picnics are a great way to teach your kids how to be creative with food, and when you make them a part of this process, you’ll be fostering a sense of curiosity that is likely to stick with them as they grow. I know our first picnics will include these apple-kale sandwiches. They are such a family favorite!

After a year of being at home, I think we all could use a little extra time outside this spring. I’ve certainly been clambering for this warmer weather, and now that it is near, we should all take advantage of it. The memories we make with our kids outdoors can play a part in building healthy lifestyles that last for decades.

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