Foster Parents

Why our children need to get outside more

Why our children need to get outside more

Many children in todays society focus a lot of their time watching television, playing games on devices or speaking to their friends through social media. This highlights the intense screen time that is distracting them from playing outside and keeping active.

According to a study, figures state that more than one in nine children in England have not set foot in a park, forest, beach or a natural environment for at least 12 months. In addition, 74% of children spent less than an hour in the fresh air and one child in five does not play outside at all.

These shocking figure demonstrate the decline in children either being encouraged to play outdoors or children not even having that desire. Parents and carers should be encouraging children to go outside, run around, learn about the natural environment and generally keeping fit and healthy. Children who are especially young, do not understand the importance of the outdoors and so it is the responsibility of the parents and carers to encourage them to go out, take them to the beach, the park or to activities outdoors.

There is so much to learn in the outdoors and the natural environment, so much more than learning from a screen. The outdoors gives children new opportunites of learning new motor skills, developing their understanding of the world and learning about the responsibility of looking after the nature surrounding them. Through exploring the natural environment it will help children develop their problem-solving skills. For example; climbing a tree is a measuring task and working out the correct strategy. It helps children face risks and challenges and then to figure out how to solve them.

Obesity in children is highlighted a lot in the news and it is something that should be taken seriously by parents and children. Parents should be aware of the health concerns that are a result of obsesity and the unhealthy aspects of their diet and lifestyle that is causing it. As the lack physical activity is a big symptom of obsesity, studies show that being active outdoors produce significant improvements in psychological and emotional well-being in children. A study from Univerisity of Essex found that just 5 minutes of ‘green exercise’ can produce improvements in mental well-being and self-esteem.

Being outdoors and in a natural environment develops a child’s senses and mind. Although, not only does it help their mental and emotional development, it gives them new experiences and memories that they will cherish. Learning to climb a tree, getting muddy and jumping in puddles. Or feeling different textures of sand, grass and mud. These are all new experienes that a child should have to have a educational, exciting and memorable childhood.