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Why you Should Encourage your Children to Play Outside

Why you Should Encourage your Children to Play Outside

Why you Should Encourage your Children to Play Outside

People often talk about the rate at which technology has evolved throughout the last 30 years, and there’s genuinely good reason for this. However, not enough focus in placed on the impact that such evolution has had on certain aspects of society, particularly the way in which children spend their leisure time.

There are now an incredible 2,261 active game companies in the UK, for example, while titles such as Grand Theft auto V have sold 95 million units worldwide to become the most successful media product of all time.

While children may be spending more of their time indoors and playing computer games, however, this is something that should be actively discouraged as a parent. Here’s why:

The Problem Facing Parents

According to a recent study commissioned by the National Trust, the current generation of children spend approximately half the time playing outside that their parents did.

In total, kids in the UK are currently playing outside for an average of just over four hours a week. This supported the additional findings from a recent government study, which found that 10% of respondents had yet to spend time in a natural environment such as a park, forest or beach.

Conversely, their parents will have spent a hefty 8.2 hours per week playing outdoors, and this creates a generational gap that has numerous connotations for children.

Aside from missing out on fresh air and scenery, children that do not play outdoors may also be damaging their own health. They may experience reduced vitamin C and vitamin D levels, for example, while it’s thought that exposure to the sun can help to improve the eyesight of developing kids.

Not only this, but manipulating real-world objects and navigating corporeal living environments can help with the development of motor-skills in infants, and this is something that cannot be achieved by playing video games.

How to Encourage your Children to Play Outdoors

The takeaway here is clear; as outdoor play leads to physically and mentally stronger children that are more confident and better adjusted from a social perspective.

While this is not to say that indoor play cannot also be beneficial, it’s crucial that parents encourage their children to become more active outside of the home.

To achieve this, you must strive to set an example to your children and try to get as much exercise as possible. This means walking or cycling wherever possible, particularly when taking trips to the local shops.

Even if your pressed for time and have kids who like to wander, you could consider buying a children’s scooter to make the trip more manageable (and interesting for your little ones).

On a final note, you should aim to encourage outdoor play all year round. While this is far easier during the summer, kids also love playing when it’s a little colder or there’s snow on the ground.

So try not to restrict them, and afford them the freedom to make the most of their free time!

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