Whether it’s during their time in education or spending time with family, outdoor play is essential to not only children's physical health but also their emotional health too.
It is undeniable that a lot of kids these days are spending much more time on electronics, than outside in the open. In fact a child in the UK spends an average of 15.3 hours a week consuming the internet. Which will be taking away from their vital time needed outdoors.
Here’s our top 4 benefits of what more outdoor play can do for your young ones, how to encourage more outside time, and why the environment will also benefit in the long run.
Top 4 Benefits Of More Outdoor Play
The health and well-being of our children is extremely important to us parents, with outdoor playtime taking a major role in that. Here are the 4 most beneficial factors of outdoor play:
There is no better feeling than seeing your children building up their confidence, and showing off their developing personalities. By playing outdoors, particularly with other children, your young ones will start to see their skills grow - by trying new activities, creating games, climbing up trees, or reaching higher on the swings!
With your children's self-confidence and abilities growing it won't be long until they begin to see themselves more positively too. With the outdoors encouraging more teamwork and imagination in young children, their relationship with their peers and the people surrounding them will be massively improved!
There is no doubt that more outdoor play from a young age can greatly increase a child's creativity skills. When children have the opportunity to either play with other kids of all ages, or by themselves the creativity within them expands greatly. The natural surroundings in outside play will motivate children to use their curiosity, thinking, and discovery skills to explore and make their own fun from the elements around them.
Setting challenges and tasks are great ways to help children develop their creativity. Can they make a boat out of twigs and leaves? Can they make a picture out of the things they’ve found? Can they get from A to B without touching the grass?
Playing outdoors can really help children to learn to be more independent and manage responsibilities better. Though children often love to have a lot of attention, they will also greatly appreciate and benefit from regular independent play.
Of course, supervision is constantly needed for younger children, but there are still a number of ways of allowing kids to feel as though they have their own independence. For example, playing in a park by themselves whilst you watch, or creating their own explorer games.
There are also a variety of outdoor toys or equipment available that will encourage independent pay. We recommend the The Den Kit Co's activity kits, which may require some adult assistance depending on age.
Playing in the outdoors helps not only a child's physical health but also their mental health too.
Physical exercise is great for keeping kids fit and healthy, but being out in the sun and fresh air will also help to boost their immune system and improve their day-to-day mood.
Fresh air can be a stress reliever, and the natural nature sounds can have a soothing effect on children and adults. There’s nothing better than listening to the leaves blow, the waves crash or the birds tweeting to help with relaxation.
How To Swap Electronics For Outdoor Play Instead
Finding the right balance of electronic use for children can be very difficult, here’s our suggestions on how to encourage the kids to spend more time being free in the outdoors!
- Play a variety of different games so they don't get bored of the same thing.
- Invite friends/family to join in so they wont want to miss out!
- Try to go to new outdoor locations regularly, if possible.
- Take portable items along with you to encourage curiosity and play; binoculars, magnifying glasses, a kite, a ball, spotters guides etc.
Or, a great approach to inspiring kids to swap their electronics for outdoor time instead, is by offering something much more fun than any phone could be. Why not try outdoor play equipment such as, the create your own Little Nutkins explorer kit!
Environmental Benefits Of Outdoor Play
A study by Cambridge University Press found that children who spend a lot of time outdoors playing, are more likely to grow up wanting to protect the environment and nature!
Plus did you realise watching TV, browsing online and playing computer games actually uses a lot of energy, not just in your own home but at the servers that feed the streaming and online gaming sites. Did you know the carbon footprint of YouTube is about the same as the whole city of Glasgow annually!
There is no better time than now to be encouraging our young ones to love nature, and protect it at all costs!