Children today can be called a smartphone generation. It’s a technology many were born with and grew up using from a very young age. But they shouldn’t be completely disconnected from nature! Life doesn’t just happen online.

The river offers many fun activities, including some of the favorites of past generations: Fishing. If you want your child or children to take a break from their devices to experience the fun that the river has to offer, these tips will certainly help.

Let Them Research

The first step in getting them excited about nature is letting them research what a trip to the rivere is going to entail. When you know what you plan to do, tell your children in advance. If you’re going fishing, tell them all about the area, what kind of fishing you will be doing, and what types of fish you hope to catch. Then let them do some research on their own. It’s on their devices, true, but a step in the right direction while they’re getting used to the idea. Taking your time is doing them an excellent service.

Let Them Help Prepare

Kids of all ages like to help their parents get ready for something big. So don’t leave them at home when the time to shop for your trip comes! No matter how long it is going to be, a trip to the store will get them excited. Writing out a list of items to pick out and letting them run free for a while is bound to have children interested in their new stuff, not their phones. This, too, will help foster love for the outdoors.

Start Slowly

Our expectations for students aren’t to jump straight from preschool coloring to a college essay, so it isn’t fair to expect them to change all at once here, either. You should start off with small trips to local rivers so that the kids aren’t completely overwhelmed by the change. This is true, no matter how old they are, six or sixteen. Maybe try a picnic one weekend, or an hour or two after school for a swim. Leave the devices in your car when you go. (Yes, including you.) That way, they can really tune in with nature, even if only for a short time.

Take a Day Trip

Once your child is used to going somewhere without his or her phone for an hour or two at a time, it’s a good idea to plan a day trip. Choose a river that you both want to explore, pack up some lunch, and hit the road! Keep a phone with you, in case of emergency, but don’t use it unless you absolutely have to. Instead, spend quality time with one another and with nature. If your child seems to get antsy being without their device, change things up during the day. Find a place to swim, or hit the shore for some lunch.

A Day Off The Homework

This isn’t something you can often do, but it is something that is almost guaranteed to get your child’s attention! If your child isn’t runinng up to a big exam, let your child skip revision for a day at the river. Their studies likely won’t suffer too much from this, and they can always find essay help online from EduBirdie or similar sites, if they need it. The thrill of “breaking the rules” will keep them from going online, and help them enjoy the river. Just be sure not to do it too often, or even EduBirdie as well as writers from EduBirdie won’t be able to save them from an overdue essay!

A Weekend Away

Weekend trips aren’t given as much credit as they deserve. With the right planning, you can turn what would be a standard weekend of video games, internet, and phone time into a great family mini-vacation to the river. This is especially true if it’s good camping weather, and you can sleep nearby. Many city-dwelling and suburban kids will get a kick out of sleeping in tents near the river! You can take a boat trip down the river to a predetermined spot over the course of a few days, especially if you have older children. Keep the phones put away during this trip.

Cut Your Own Cord

This is the big one. This is the rule that many parents forget to follow, and so their kids never manage to connect with nature. If you want your children to stop using their phones regularly, you have to be willing to, as well. The rules mentioned in all of the above tips should apply to you. Whenever you go out to the river, you should always have a phone somewhere in case of emergencies. But you should hide is away if possible and avoid using it for anything besides that. If your children see you using your phone instead of looking to see if you’ve caught a fish, they’re more likely to do so themselves. Besides, phones can be damaged or destroyed on the river. Keep them somewhere waterproof.

A river is a place that holds a lot of charm and interest for children. Unfortunately, it’s difficult for them to see this when they have their eyes locked onto their phones or tablets. With a little pushing and creative planning, you can get your kids hooked on fishing, not phones.