This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and as you know, here at Muddy Puddles we are passionate about the many physical and mental benefits of children spending time in the great outdoors.
Recent studies have shown that kids who play outside are happier, better at paying attention and less anxious than their peers who spend more time indoors. Here’s some of the facts on the benefits of time spent outside for children.
1) Increases movement
There are so many things to do outside and even a walk is enough to get the blood pumping. As well as being good for their bodies, exercise also helps to increase children’s focus.
2) Builds confidence
There are so many ways for children to interact with their outdoor environment and the way children play in nature has a lot less structure than most types of indoor play. Letting them choose how they treat nature means they have the power to control their own actions.
3) Teaches responsibility
Entrusting a child to take care of the living parts of their environment allows them to learn what happens when they forget to water a plant or pull a flower by its roots.
4) Creativity and imagination
Being outside and the unstructured style of outdoor play allows children to interact with their surroundings in a more meaningful way, allowing them to think more freely and approach the world in inventive ways.
5) Provides different stimulation
Nature activates all the senses – you can see, hear, smell and touch outdoor environments.
6) Reduces stress and fatigue
Spending too long inside can make children feel restless and inattentive. Heading outside into the fresh air can help children to relax and unwind.
7) Makes them think
Nature creates a sense of wonder like no other environment, allowing children to ask questions about the earth and the life that it supports.