Whether they’re skipping over tree trunks, burrowing in the leaves or basking in the sunshine – there are so many benefits to your little ones being in the great outdoors.
Here are just some of the reasons why the outdoors is the greatest playground.
It helps them stay active
It might be obvious, but let’s not forget the physical and mental benefits that exercise can bring about. If you’re outside, you and your kids will more than likely be moving around, not hunched in front of a screen, away from fresh air and sunlight. Playing in a local park or exploring a local National Trust trail can be great introductions to great outdoors. Exercise and breathing in the fresh air can also drastically help reduce stress levels in adults and expelling bottled-up energy may help reduce stress and calm an overactive child down. Regular activity throughout the day can be a helpful way to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern in your children too.
Helps with development
Studies have shown that being outside can dramatically improve a child’s development. Playing outside is especially important for younger children, as increasing movement can help with the development of motor skills and spatial awareness. With this in mind, it’s important to dress them in suitable kids’ outdoor clothes that are warm and waterproof. This will allow them to move comfortably around no matter what the weather conditions. A child in unnatural surroundings will have to adapt to the new environment, which can improve concentration and their natural ability to problem solve.
Offers hands-on learning opportunities
Outside, there are plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning. Whether that be recognising the potential dangers or learning about plants and insects, there are things that can be taught for better and safer outdoor play.
Go in search of bugs with a magnifying glass, make a leaf collage or seek out the flora to learn about photosynthesis.
It improves imagination
With the chirping birdsong, the whistle of the wind and the rustle of the leaves, the simple sounds of the forest are spectacular. Allowing your children to play among this soundscape can spark their imagination.
From a wild jungle with lions and tigers, to an enchanting forest with pixies and magic toad stalls – the unusual sounds, paired with the colourful environment can transport children into another world where any adventure is possible.
It’s a cheap activity
Not every adventure and day drip needs to be costly. Take a trip to the park, or stroll in local woodland. Even sandcastle building competitions on the beach are all free and exciting activities you can do together as a family.
With lots of options at extremely low cost, there’s no excuse for hiding inside, especially on a sunny afternoon. So, venture out and enjoy the benefits that comes with exploring nature’s playground.
By Rachael Matthews