GUEST POST | WHY CHILDREN SHOULD PLAY OUTSIDE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE

Getting children outside nowadays has become more difficult as the number of ways to watch entertainment increases. There's no denying that technology can help children in learning and understanding the world, but too much of it has been proven to have adverse effects on them. Very Well Family lists some of the negative effects , which include obesity, sleep problems and even some behavioural problems. Not only do digital devices affect children, they can also affect relationships with them. This is why I believe it's important to get them to play outside as often as possible.

Unleashing your child’s creativity

Encouraging your children to play outside will foster their creativity. National Geographic reported that 93% of teachers found that children were more creative after playing outside and 97% “believe that time outdoors is critical for children to reach their full potential.” Sir Ken Robinson, an expert on education, told the magazine that “the failure to play is now a critical issue and it calls for concerted action for change.” As parents, it's our responsibility to get our children outdoors, and this also means spending time with them outside.

On helping your kids be more social and more appreciative of nature

Screens have made our children less social than previous generations. Arranging an outdoor play date with their friends can help them talk to other children, share toys, cooperate in games and understand how to treat others. Children can learn more if they are able to interact with other children in less structured settings (e.g. outside of school). Even if children are very young it's still important for them to get some time outdoors. It helps them produce vitamin D directly from the sun which can help with their mental health and wellbeing. A trip to the the local swings will do, but dependent on age, be prepared (change of clothes, water, snacks etc). If you've got more than one child, a tandem pushchair is ideal, as they are much slimmer than double pushchairs. This will make getting around much easier. The fresh air and absorbing all the elements can improve their overall wellbeing, and it gets you out of the house too.

Strengthening your bond with your kids

Getting out of the house with your children is important. I know how important playtime and outdoor play is when it comes to strengthening a parent’s relationship with their children. When outside with your children, they see you in a different light. You also show them that it’s ok to have fun and that spending time with the family is important. Children might also love being involved with the daily routines of the family. Letting them help you do outdoor jobs can help them feel included and it mighthelp them understand the importance of taking on responsibilities no matter how small they are.
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By Josh Ellis. Josh is a 37 year old father who works as a Cash Manager. He complements his day job with freelance stints and currently just enjoys life with his wife and two kids.