Parents of today spent their childhood playing in the streets, riding their bike or climbing trees.
They would play outdoors until their parents called them in for dinner or before it got too dark!
…Fast forward and children today are more focused on hitting that next level of Candy Crush, building a new farm or watching the latest YouTube video. From iPads® to television, children are spending an increasing amount of time indoors. Research shows, however, that this is having a negative impact on their health and development!
Why is outdoor play so important?
NHS guidelines state that children under five need three hours exercise a day and that it should include a mixture of bone strengthening, muscle building and cardiovascular activities.
In contrast to this, Older children only need at least 60 minutes of rigorous exercise a day or seven hours per week.
Playing outdoors is a form of exercise that stimulates the mind, promotes wholesome physical development and improves emotional health.
As a result of this, children playing and learning in an outdoor environment appear to be more engaged and motivated. Therefore helping to develop a positive attitude towards learning.
When outdoors, children are naturally drawn to physical play: without realising they are exercising they often use their whole body to play, engaging every muscle.
This type of play allows them to explore their environment, develop their muscle strength & coordination, gain self-confidence and, as the majority of the time outdoor play involves them interacting and engaging with other children, they are also improving their social skills.
With all this in mind more and more councils and schools are investing in good quality playground equipment and outdoor classrooms.
Schools are realising the benefits of outdoor learning and are building a combination of outdoor classrooms and activity playgrounds. This therefore enables children to get the amazing benefits which come from outdoor play.
Parks on the other hand, are having overhauls as rusty swings are being replaced with timber adventure playgrounds. As well as this gazebos are being erected to provide shelter when needed.
At Handmade Places we have a wide range of activities suitable to enhance all aspects of a child’s development. This includes social, emotional and physical development!