6 Reasons Why Your Children Need to Play Outdoors, No Matter the Weather
May 24, 2017
So many children now spend hours glued to screens, whether it is a phone, computer or television. The days of parents telling their children that their eyes will go square if they watch it too much are long gone, with many parents themselves spending up to seven hours a day on average in front of a screen.
Life is busy, and if you’ve had a long day at work and your children are playing up, it’s all too easy to put them in front of technology for a bit of peace and quiet. We all must try, even after a testing day, to go outside with our children, even if it is just for 20 minutes a day. It is not only good for your child, but you will also feel the benefits of it too. If it is the weather that puts you off, our cheap umbrellas will protect you from the rain. Find out the reasons why you, and your children, need to play outside:
Distractions and the comfort at home can often mean we don’t always pay our children full attention. We may be concentrating on cooking dinner, or on the phone to our friends or family. Being outdoors takes you away from your routine and chores, it gives you and your child the chance to immerse yourselves in only what you are both doing in that moment, enhancing our connection with our loved ones and creating life time memories.
Vitamin D is a vital vitamin that all people need to stay healthy, it promotes an active immune system, healthy bones, teeth and muscles. It is naturally produced when your skin is exposed to the sun, so all you need to do to top up on this vitamin, is head into the great outdoors!
Makes them happy
Exercise and movement of the body encourages the production and release of serotonin which is known to improve moods and well-being. Serotonin affects mood, sleep, appetite and behaviour. So, after your child has been outdoors and active, they will be causing less trouble and there will be more smiles!
Children often want to be loud and it can be embarrassing when your child decides to shout or scream at an inappropriate time. When your outdoors and deep in nature, children can shout, sing and laugh as loud as they choose.
Keeps them healthy
Moving your body on a regular basis strengthens your organs and keeps you fit. Exercising often with your child will instil a good routine and activity that they can continue later in their lives. The outdoors gives them enough space to run, jump, climb, skip and roll if they choose. These activities improve your child’s skills, balance and strength. For example, playing catch or football will increase their coordination. Exercise also takes a lot of energy, so the more they move, the more likely they are to want to go to sleep at their bedtime.
Children are naturally inquisitive, they are constantly learning about the environment around them, and when they’re outside, this development is heightened. The usual places they spend time, at home, nursery, or at their friends or families, are all environments that they know very well, by taking them outdoors, especially when it’s a new place, can be a life lesson in its self as they will be discovering things they may have never seen, heard, felt or smelt before.
Exploring and freedom
A path away from the road or a field has minimal dangers, try and give your child the freedom to burn off their excessive energy. Let them run ahead of you, allow them to show you what they have found. Why not have a go at an insect hunt to help keep their mind focused? Ask them to count how many beetles or ladybirds they can see during your time outdoors. Or try lifting logs or stones and see what is living underneath.
The outdoors is a wonder for children, dress them in clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, pack a change for the journey home or even some PJ’s they can change into before they fall asleep during the journey home, bring some snacks and a drink then go and enjoy your time in the great outdoors.