From the Screen to the Backyard: Get Your Kids Off the Couch with LARPing!

If you are like most modern day parents, you often find yourself in a conundrum over how much time your kids spend playing video games, computer games, and even games on their phones. It’s simple for an outsider to say, ‘Take them away!’, or ‘Limit them to 30 minutes a day!’, but taking them away and placing strict limits are often easier said than done. For one, you might be an avid gamer yourself. Telling your kids not to do something that you do can end in a yelling match for sure! For another, denying our children of something they enjoy isn’t at the top of the list of fun things about being a parent.

Sometimes the hours of ‘screen time’ kids clock can slip to the bottom of our list of worries given all the other important things we have to keep on top of. But, we have a silver lining to the cloud of turning off the games! And it’s as good for you as it is for your children.

Now that most of us will be savoring an extra hour of daylight it is easier than ever to plan outdoor family activities for the evenings. The days will be growing continually longer, and the weather continually milder, and that gives us an awesome opportunity to give electronics a rest while we head outside.

If you don’t have a backyard at home, you can always pack the family up for a trip to the park or even a nearby field. As for what to do once you’re there? Act out your favorite video games, computer games, and phone games, of course! Yes, the family that LARPs together creates some wonderful memories together. Just be sure to keep things safe and fun, and incorporate the interests of all your children. If that means you’ll be holding a Sesame Street LARP once in awhile, or a LARP that reflects characters from their favorite book or story, so be it! When the kiddos are smiling, it’s hard not to smile right along with them.

In addition to getting your kids and yourself away from the glare of the screen for a bit, having fun together as a family can also bring health benefits. You’ll be moving around, laughing, and breathing fresh air. Undistracted by constant messages from other users in a game, you can clear your mind and hit the virtual ‘refresh’ button in your brain. You’ll be making memories together, exercising together, learning more about one another, and reinforcing the importance of relying on one another and enjoying each other’s company.

Without actually saying so, you’ll be teaching your kids that in addition to being a parent – a parent who sometimes has to reprimand them, place limits on them, and give them rules – you are also someone who think they’re pretty cool, and you choose to spend your down time with them. This can help a child’s self-esteem immeasurably, and help foster a closer relationship that will carry through not only their youth and teen years, but also adulthood. And if you need some LARP costumes to make the games extra special, you know we just might have a few! 😉

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