Parents have heard it a million times. We say it nearly every day on our social media. Nature is AMAZING for your children. It is perhaps one of the best gifts you can give your little ones, apart from your love and affection of course. But why? Why is time outside so crucial for their wellbeing?
Better Mental Health
Put simply, getting your kids out into nature will not only improve their mood and keep up physical fitness, but it will also help them destress.
It has been proven time and time again, that getting outside amidst the trees, has profound health benefits. Children who spend time outside have been found to be happier, less anxious than those who spend all of their time indoors.
Being outdoors allows for our minds to take a break from the constant barrage of mental stimulus. We can truly relax and allow our mind time to unwind. In turn this helps improve focus, which is especially helpful for those more active children or those with ADHD. A child’s stress levels will instantly drop when seeing green spaces, so if they are a little cranky and wound up, get them outside! You can thank us for it later!
Often play can be rushed, or very directed, meaning less free time. This can result in overstimulation, depression and stress in our little ones. So by just opening the doors and letting them have access to open ended play, you are giving them time to unwind, think for themselves and stay positive, protecting their emotional development as well as mental state.
Not only will your child be calmer and happier. But also smarter! Educational establishments that have a strong outdoors focus and incorporate natural learning have been shown to score higher in reading, math, listening and writing assessment. Exposure to environment based education, whether at school or at home, has also been proven to significantly increase critical thinking skills. Nature really can make your kids smarter and reach their full potential.
Less Screen Time
In today’s society, it is near impossible to get away from screens. They can dominate homes, come with us whereever we go, and generally are attached to us like an additional limb.
The younger generations are picking up this habit too, with more and more children spending countless hours in front of a screen rather than engaging in imaginative play or being outdoors. It’s shocking and needs to stop.
Now I am not saying to cut out screens completely, they are an integral part of our society and when used in moderation can be fantastic learning tools/distraction devices for when you just need a few minutes to get something done. But moderation is the key word here.
Getting your family outside into nature, screen free, is a great way to ensure this moderation. Apart from taking those beautiful family photos of course! Maybe try and incorporate a ‘screen free walk’ where you can’t use any technology unless in an emergency.
We promise this will not only be beneficial for your little ones. But also you too. Perhaps as adults we are even worse for forgetting to put the screen down and head outdoors!?
Natural Learning & Environmental Awareness
Obviously we are biased when it comes to using natural resources for learning. However, there is a very good reason for this!
The open ended possibilities in nature is fantastic for building confidence. Your little ones choose how they interact with the environment, helping them to develop their imagination, support their own decisions and learn all about consequences. They are free to think rather than be directed in a certain direction by a toy.
By using natural resources, not only are we promoting imaginative, open ended play, but we are also allowing our children to develop a strong bond with the natural world. By creating inspiration through nature, children grow up wanting to protect the world they live in, a definite bonus for the environment.
Better Physical Health
Being out in nature gets your kids moving! Which in today’s society of sofa lounging, couldn’t be any more critical! Childhood obesity has rocketed and as well as healthy eating, lots of exercise and access to nature is key to keeping your little ones fit and healthy.
Aside from building a naturally fit strong body, being in nature also increases exposure to vitamin D. Thus helping to protect against a whole host of future illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and bone problems, to name a few. There is also research to say that being outdoors helps develop distance vision and prevent nearsightedness!
Not only does nature keep our family fit in the present, but it helps protect their future. It’s a win win!
Through personal experience we have also learnt that there is nothing quite like a woodland floor to teach a toddler how to have confidence walking….Aria navigates roots, dips, hills and sticks with ease at only one year old! We have no doubt she will grow even more in the next year, graduating to climbing trees and taking full advantage of the wilderness!
For the simple joy of exploring nature with your children you can bring them all of these benefits. It seems like a no brainer to most, but in todays society people are finding it harder and harder to get outdoors. Whether its due to limited time or lack of space nearby, there are millions of different ways to get your family out and about. Even if you can manage one trip out a week or a small time every day you will see the benefits. Nature is fun, free and fantastic for your families well-being.
Tag us in pictures of your adventures! We would love to see what you get up to!