Learning different things can be very fascinating for children. They are like empty buckets that slowly fill up with knowledge and skills over time as they progress through life. As part of their childhood experiences, they are expected to venture into numerous activities and explore unknown things experimentally. In the digital age, their fascination has evolved even further, as many of these young people want to acquire skills that are relevant to the digital world and real life. What many do not realize is that there are several activities that are beneficial to other activities, such as outdoor activities or computational thinking. Focusing on the skills that individuals are acquiring does not have to limit them to certain activities, as they can be reinforced by other activities. So the balance between one activity and the other is beneficial in many ways. This is precisely the origin of the relationship between nature and programming.
The Importance of Balancing Screen Time with Outdoor Time
It may sound like a cliché, but too much or too little of something is not healthy for everyone. This is obviously true for young learners as well. It is undeniable that children are active in many ways. Physically, they have more energy than adults. They love to run around and let their curiosity lead them to try new things. Indeed, with the advent of the digital world, finding a balance between screen time and outdoor time is a necessity, especially for children who are learning with computers. The following details illustrate the importance of striking a balance between online and outdoor time.
Less stress and anxiety
It is common knowledge that the outdoors can help people feel more comfortable and relaxed. It is the tranquility of the environment that can help improve mental well-being. For this reason, anxiety and depression that a person feels will soon get better with the help of the influence of nature.
Better Concentration and Attention
When children spend so much time on the internet, their attention span tends to be much shorter. When they use computers and other electronic devices, they are exposed to numerous distractions. However, if they spend a lot of time outdoors, they can observe more living things. This would encourage them to learn even more and enjoy life, and perhaps invent something that would help protect living things and the lives of all.
Reduced Screen-related Issues
As digital devices have an addictive effect on their users, eye fatigue is becoming more common. This affects both children and adults. If someone maintains a balance between screen time and outdoor time, they are less likely to suffer from eye strain.
Posture and Ergonomics
A sedentary lifestyle has never been beneficial to an individual’s health and posture. The more time an individual spends in front of electronic devices, the more likely he/she is to have slumped shoulders. This has a great impact on the musculoskeletal system. The bones find it difficult to return to their original structure. However, when they engage in outdoor activities, it helps them to move and keep their body moving accordingly.
Can Children Learn Computational Concepts While Playing Outside?
As the world rapidly evolves, people are expected to keep up as much as possible. It has always been known that most children of previous generations grew up spending a lot of time outdoors. In contrast, today’s children are fascinated by the entertainment options offered by gadgets. For this reason, many people have different views and opinions on whether these gadgets are useful for children or not. However, both playing outdoors and engaging with digital devices can help children become more competent. They can learn computational concepts while being outside and playing. Here are more ways children can learn computational thinking:
There are a variety of games and activities that force children to plan and make decisions for themselves. This gives them the opportunity to think logically, which is also fundamental to computational thinking. A perfect example of this is building a sand castle. The more they engage themselves in these kinds of situations, the more they become accustomed to consider some factors and see things in broader perspective.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Communicating with different people while working together is essential to maintaining a good relationship with each other. In a team, especially in outdoor activities, everyone has the same goal, and through effective communication, they can pass on messages that will help them succeed and move closer to their goals. This also applies to computer science, as projects are carried out as a team.
Experimentation and Exploration
Experimentation and exploring new things are necessary when learning new skills. The reason is that innovation begins when a person starts to realize what the problem really is and finds an effective solution to it. The same is true when someone participates in an outdoor activity and has to do something that is out of their comfort zone. Once they are no longer in their comfort bubble, they will experience something new and realize their full potential.
Best Ways to Reinforce Coding Learnings While Playing Outdoors
There are many things that people can learn, and this knowledge and acquired skills can be used elsewhere. It is as if the application of what someone has learned before is not limited to that specific context, but also wherever it is relevant. For this reason, learning computer programming can be reinforced when children are playing outside. Below are some ways in which this can be done:
Since robots are ubiquitous in our lives today, children usually find it very entertaining to play with robots and even do some activities with robot concepts. They can play a game where children take turns playing the “robot” and the “programmer”. In this game, the programmer thinks up things to do and gives instructions, while the children, pretending to be robots, follow the instructions.
Coding with Nature
Realias has been effective in learning new concepts. This is also true when children do the activities themselves. In programming, commands are natural to develop a game, a program, or any project. If some programming commands are associated with natural objects such as sticks, stones, or leaves, it would be much easier for children to retain such learning experiences and programming concepts.
Stories are indeed part of every child’s fond memories. They enjoy listening to stories from adults and sometimes make up their own when they are with their peers. Making up stories and adventures where characters are challenged and have to make important decisions is beneficial for children because it helps them better understand the algorithm concepts in coding.
Maintaining a balance between screen time and outdoor time is an undeniable necessity because of the benefits it brings to people, especially children. Children can be very passionate about learning computer programming, and they are completely fascinated to explore even more. However, they should also not forget the importance of protecting themselves from psychological stress and anxiety that can come along with it. Apart from that, their physical health is at risk due to their sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, many people neglect the fact that outdoor activities promote computational thinking, which is one of the prerequisites for becoming a successful programmer. Therefore, nature and programming are the best complement when it comes to children’s education.
Learn Scratch Coding with CampusTop
If you are looking for the best after-school tutoring options for kids but have not found an online school yet, you are in the right place. CampusTop is an online institution that aims to provide quality instruction to our young learners. Thank you to the friendly and professional guidance of our well-trained teachers, your kids are sure to have a fun learning experience as they have more opportunities to engage in hands-on activities. They will be taught in an engaging way that is no different from the way they do things in an offline classroom. In addition, we can guarantee that your children will be properly supervised since it is a one-on-one lesson. Book a first lesson (FTL) with us and we will see you online.