We live in a world where children spend more and more time looking at screens indoors than they do playing outside. Think about Christmas day, how many kids do you see out riding bikes compared to twenty years ago? While technology has brought many benefits to society, it can also be damaging too. Too much screen time can impair brain structure and function; it can cause obesity, insomnia, mood swings, and even problems at school. Because children's brains undergo so much change during their formative years, this excess screen time can be even more damaging. It’s never been more important for us as parents to encourage outdoor play amongst our children.
The benefits of being outdoors are endless, for children and adults alike. Being outside allows children to express themselves freely and unlike an indoor setting, there aren’t any space constraints meaning children can jump, shout and explore to their heart's content. The sense of freedom playing outdoors brings is fantastic for a child’s development, both physically and mentally.
Children who learn to play outdoors are much more likely to continue to enjoy outdoor activities such as walking, running and cycling as they get older. Given the number of gadgets and new technology available to us all, outdoor play is an extremely important factor in combating an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.
Learning in an outdoor environment allows children to interact with the elements around us and helps them to gain an understanding of the world we live in. They can experience animals in their own surroundings and learn about their habitats and life cycles.
Indoor spaces can often feel overcrowded to children and naturally, they may feel intimidated in this type of environment. More space outdoors can help children to join in and ‘come out of their shells’. Giving children outdoor learning experiences offers them a chance to talk about what they have done with their friends, teachers and parents.
The extra space offered by being outdoors will give children the sense of freedom to make discoveries by themselves. They can develop their own ideas or create games and activities to take part in with their friends without feeling like they’re being directly supervised. They’ll begin to understand what they can do by themselves and develop a ‘can do‘ attitude, which will act as a solid foundation for future learning.
Being outdoors provides children with more opportunities to experience risk-taking. They have the chance to take part in tasks on a much bigger scale and complete them in ways they might not when they’re indoors. They can learn to make calculated decisions such as ‘should I jump off this log?’ or ‘can I climb this tree?’
At Muddy Sports, we’re committed to getting the nation outdoors, whatever the weather, which is why we stock everything you need to enjoy spending more time outside, come rain or shine. Shop here.