Why you should encourage your children to explore the great outdoors
These days it seems that most children just spend their time playing indoors on gaming consoles, computer games or just sitting watching TV.
Although spending time indoors isn’t always a bad thing we need to remember the benefits of playing outdoors. Being outside is the best place for kids to be themselves and act like kids in their own freedom.
There are a million and one reasons why children should be playing outdoors more. Children need to develop their social skills, independence and creativity which can all be done by venturing outside and playing.
Reducing their time on a computer and watching TV could really help towards this. Although the internet is full of so many wonderful things, it can also be a dangerous place. It is hard to monitor a child’s internet usage but if you limit their time on it, it may give them that little bit of encouragement to go outdoors. When it comes to the TV, once a programme they like has finished, switch it off and get them outside. Reducing both these things can help reduce the risk of overexposure to something that is called blue light which could cause serious long term damage to the eyes.
Now, getting your child to play outdoors can be a huge struggle but there are plenty of methods to try out on them.
- Don’t let the weather stop you
Whenever it’s cold or there’s a spot of rain we are all put off doing anything that involves the outdoors. But don’t let it stop you. Get some great kids all in one from Muddy Puddles to protect them against any mud or rain.
- Spend time together outdoors as a family
If you’re outdoors, your children will more than likely be outdoors with you. Setting an example for them is the best thing to do. Think outside the box and go further than your back garden. Go to the park, a farm, river or beach. Taking them to a new place that they can explore will make them want to do more things like that.
- Set challenges
Give your children different challenges to do while they’re outdoors. This adds a bit more excitement to playing outside. Why not try handing out trophies at the end of a game? If your child is getting a reward, they will be more inclined to take part. Pinterest has got loads of great ideas for rewards.
- Take the indoors, outdoors
Take your kids toys outside, play doesn’t all have to be indoors. Encourage them to find different ways to play with their toys.
- Touch, lift and look under
Get your kids involved in nature while outdoors too and they’ll need a hands-on approach to fully understand it all. Examine an insect or frog from all angles if possible, brush up on your nature facts so that you can tell your kids loads of new things when you’re exploring.
We also know that kids sleep better if they’ve had some fresh air in the day so if that isn’t some encouragement for you, we don’t know what is!
So just try and remember when it comes to playing outdoors there is no right or wrong way to do, so just start off small and simple with your kids and see where the outdoors takes you all. If you’re still finding yourself stuck for some idea, check out parents.com for some fun outdoor activities.