We’re living in an age of technology, where children are more exposed to laptops, tablets and games consoles than ever, so it’s really important that they get plenty of outdoor time too. Technology is great but, as with anything in life, it’s all about balance, and there are so many benefits to getting them outside. Here are just a handful of them.
Exposure to wildlife
Whilst there’s no doubt that the Internet is a great source of information, and a place where kids can learn about wildlife all around the world, there’s no substitute for getting out there to experience it first-hand. Whether you’re exploring a local zoo, going for a walk in nearby woods or fishing at sea, there are so many low cost options. Added bonus – the kids will be having so much fun they won’t necessarily even realise that you’re educating them.
Overall health and fitness
Sitting in front of a screen for long periods of time needs counteracting with physical activity, whatever age you are. Obesity is one of the leading causes of high cholesterol, diabetes and other health problems you might associate with later life. Get children into the habit of exercising regularly when they are young and you’re half way there to protecting them. Combine games, walks and other forms of outdoor fun with a healthy picnic and you’re addressing another key component too. You can find more about the causes of high cholesterol here.
They might tell you that they’re happy locked away playing on a phone or console, but the social benefits from that are limited at best. Simple things like taking them to a shopping centre or restaurants are a great way of exposing them to different people and to develop their social skills. Of course you can make it more fun, and increase the health benefits, by heading to local parks for a run around outdoors. Go to a variety of places and they’ll have a chance to meet different children too.
Develop practical skills
Rather than playing sports on their Xbox or PlayStation, children can pick up real skills with outdoor hobbies. There are plenty of local sports clubs that promote healthy lifestyles, teamwork and skill development, whether it’s football, rugby, cycling, running or any other outdoors sport. Golf and tennis clubs are well known for junior development and many will offer affordable roll up coaching sessions.
Take a little time researching and then contact clubs to see if your kids can have a go. They don’t have to become the next big thing; it’s all about promoting the many benefits of taking part. As long as you find something that they enjoy, they’ll want to keep going.
Without meaning to be dismissive of the pros of modern technology, as you can see the benefits of outdoor activity are huge! There’s so much competition for children’s time and it’s all about finding things that will keep them interested in being active. Get the balance right and your children will reap the rewards.