Why It’s Essential For Your Kids To Spend Time Outdoors

Hopefully your kids have been spending plenty of time outdoors this summer and have really enjoyed the benefits of the excellent weather, however if you haven't encouraged it and now that winter is setting in you know they're going to spend even more time indoors playing video games, on their phones or watching TV then it's essential to do something about this now. According to a UK survey by the National Trust, parents reported that their kids spend an average of only about four hours a week outdoors, compared with the more than eight hours that they spent outside themselves when they were young.

Research from the University of Sydney in Australia has proven what we all know already, that it is good for children and teens to spend time outdoors. The study found that teens who were more active outdoors scored higher with regard to social functioning, whereas teens who spent more time being sedentary indoors more often reported feeling lonely and shy.

If your kids are young, it's essential to get them involved in outdoor sports as early as possible, it will then become a natural thing for them to do and will benefit them hugely in their life. You should also lead by example, and if your kids are reluctant to go outside, then the best way to get them to do it is to go with them. Plant a garden together, go hiking, or take them fishing. There are plenty of things you can do. Or, if you have to, install a backyard swing set to encourage them. 

Other reasons why it's important for kids to get outside include:

Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in many body processes, from bone development to our immune system. 

Children should be active for at least one hour every day, and getting them outside to play is one way to make sure that happens. 

Learn New Skills
Skills that help kids to plan, prioritize, troubleshoot, negotiate, be creative, and multitask are crucial for their success and development in life. These skills can only really be learned and practiced by allowing children to have unstructured time and time alone and with other children, where they can make up their own games, figure things out for themselves, and entertain themselves. Being outside gives them more opportunities to practice these life skills.

Children also need to learn how to work together, how to make friends, how to treat others, how to share, and how to cooperate. If they only ever interact with others in structured settings like in school or sports teams, they won't have the chance to learn everything they need to know.

Appreciation Of Nature
The world is changing, and it's changing fast. Kids are spending more and more of their childhoods behind screens. A child should grow up doing activities such as walking in the woods, digging in the soil, going to see different animals, climbing trees, climbing mountains and playing in streams. If they don't get the chance to do this, then they won't appreciate how beautiful and fabulous our planet is, and they are the future of it. 

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