Smart devices like tablets are very useful gadgets because we can get lots of information easily by installing apps in it. Busy parents, like myself, can hand these devices to children and they will be totally engrossed in what is happening on the digital screen. Over the recent months, I realised that long hours of screen time has caused Kayden to be an easily frustrated and emotional young child. For example, when his iPad hangs, he would get very angry and start throwing a tantrum. After several incidents, I decided to do a one month test on Kayden by changing his lifestyle.
Instead of stopping Kayden from using his iPad entirely, I reduced his weekday screen time by 20%. During the weekends, we had outdoor activities such as running in the morning and scootering in the park during the evenings. After a month of lifestyle change, Kayden built strength, confidence and became more curious to learn new things.
This July, I decided to build Kayden’s confidence by visiting Forest Adventure. Located in Bedok Reservoir Park, this ten-year-old Forest Adventure just reopened this May with brand new obstacle challenges. It was time to challenge Kayden’s fear of heights.
In an overview, there are three types of obstacle courses: Grand Course, Junior Course (not available yet) and Kid’s Course. Designed for participants with a minimum height of 1.5 metres, the Grand Course has up to 44 obstacles to tackle, making it the most challenging one. For the Kid’s Course, there are 22 crossings and two exciting zip lines for little adventurers aged 5 to 10 years old.
Spending Our Forest Adventure Time Together This July
To encourage less sitting down in the living room on his iPad, I planned for a digital detox session with Kayden. Taking away his Friday screen time, we went to experience the Kid’s Course together – how real outdoor play should be.
As for me? I wasn’t going to chicken out. I made up my mind to accompany Kayden throughout the obstacle course to give him my best support.
Getting Ready For Our Kid’s Course
It was a pouring Friday morning. We waited from 10:30 am until 11 am. Finally, the skies cleared. “Time to put on your safety harness,” said the instructor. All the kids put on their harnesses first. As I was the accompanying adult for Kayden, I was also required to wear my safety harness.
It’s all about safety at Forest Adventure. The instructor will spend 20 minutes briefing all participants about safety. The rule of thumb is to always be sure that there is no damage caused to the pulley. In case of a fall, the pulley will hold onto the rope tightly, keeping us safe.
And off we went! Due to the rain, all the obstacles were wet. Step by step, Kayden and I cleared the obstacles. There were times when I needed to hold Kayden at the back of his harness to support him. In fact, this treetop course is not easy at all. As we progressed, the obstacles got higher and more challenging. Unlike most sports which require good stamina, Forest Adventure requires good body coordination and even the element of psychology. I would say this is a mind over body outdoor activity.
This Was What Kayden Surprised Me
Kayden completed half of the course, and I was such a proud dad to Kayden. Step by step, he conquered his fear of falling. The willingness to try and overcome his fear is what I wanted him to achieve during this outdoor play.
When he made his way back to the starting point, Kayden was no longer afraid of the obstacles he had cleared. He was more confident and managed to cross them easily because he picked up the correct technique to balance himself. I was so glad that he managed to build self-confidence. Outdoor play is beneficial to children as it enables them to experience different scenarios, and teach them essential skills which cannot be learnt from classrooms.
All that crawling over wet platforms made Kayden’s clothes dirty. In the past, I would have been very reserved to allow Kayden to play in wet and muddy outdoor play areas because I was worried about stubborn stains on his shirt and pants. But I am glad to find that Breeze washing detergent easily removed all dirt and stains.
Kids go Forest Adventure for Free!
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