Parenting

The Importance of Encouraging Children to Enjoy Nature

Children of the modern generation lack outdoor exposure. Gone are the days when kids of all ages would run outside to play after school or spend their weekends under the sun with friends and families. As years go by, technology is getting more accessible, and the extinction of outdoor play is proving to be on the rise. According to reports, kids as young as 2 to 5 years old are already spending an average of more than 32 hours per week in front of the television or other electronic devices. This would mean that kids will live a more sedentary lifestyle and spend their free time sitting inside the house with tablets, smartphones or video game consoles in hand.

The good news is that it can still be prevented.

Why not spend your spare time formulating great ideas on how to make outdoor play more interesting for children? You can make use of the outside space at home and transform it into a physically active place to play. One of the usual things that attract kids to play outside is when they are able to use their senses and are free to make a mess while exploring. Give them some objects to use and watch them release their creative juices. Whether small or big, outdoor spaces can provide enough room for kids’ imagination to run wild. They can enjoy the garden and learn lots of things from it. Aside from activity-rich ideas, let your kids know that the great outdoors can also be their secret hideout. But why should you do all these? Read on and find out.

Advantages of Nature and Outdoor Play

According to the American author Richard Louv, the lack of outdoor activity of kids is known as “nature deficit disorder”. This is the trend where today’s kids differ a lot from children of the past in terms of playtime outside of home.

Modern parents don’t realize the advantages of the great outdoors and the disadvantages of a sedentary indoor life.

There are numerous benefits of playground interaction for parents and kids. Aside from experiencing nature first handedly, they also learn a lot from seeing new things that they don’t usually see inside the house. After being stuck in school sitting all day, this can be a chance for them to use their energy and exert some physical movement. By being outside, they learn how to interact with others and understand the ways of the world. Aside from interaction in school, outdoor play provides a wider range of social interaction with other kids that are not their classmates. Kids also have the chance to develop their mental capacity and creativity. At a very young age, little children can build their sense of adventure. Having fun in a playground is a great bonding experience for the kids and their parents.

There are many advantages to comparing outdoor play and nature to commercial-grade playthings. One of the most crucial aspects is that children can enjoy a safe, healthy environment made of natural materials. Playing with natural materials like wood chips, sand, and rocks can give kids an opportunity to be physically active, creative, and healthy. Adults can also benefit from increased mental health and decreased stress, among other things.

Exploring nature can work wonders in learning and in overall health.

By spending time with nature, kids as well as their parents can get the benefits to their mind and body. It improves short-term memory and sharper thinking because of the green scenery and the strong boost of oxygen in the air. It also lightens the mood and decreases the instances of depression compared to going around the city. The brain can relax outdoors because of the natural wonders that the eyes can see, therefore relieving stress. Also, looking at the far greeneries can be very beneficial to the eyesight compared to exposure to computer monitors, tablets, or gaming consoles. Because of the relaxing and calming effect of nature, kids can improve their concentration which is crucial since they need focus in school as well.

What Parents Can Do

These days, modern parents do not want their kids to play outside anymore. Some of the reasons include extreme weather conditions, rising crime rate, bullying, and the spread of sickness or diseases. These reasons prevent the children from experiencing outdoor play and nature itself. Parents don’t know that locking their kids indoors will have long-term effects on the development of their children. There is a huge difference between playing indoors compared to playing outdoors.

They add to the fast extinction of outdoor play by easily providing their kids with the available latest technology together with junk food. The more time they spend in front of their computer and gaming consoles, the less they develop their physical and social interaction. This makes their childhood life less enjoyable. It’s very unhealthy and, in most cases, the leading cause of child obesity.

Active kids are considered healthy kids and parents have the ability to control and influence their children’s lives. This is why parents should let their kids experience the great outdoors. There are a lot of ways they can bond with their kids out-of-doors. Parents can take their kids to local parks with commercial playgrounds and enjoy mingling with other people. If the family lives in a small community, there can be a residential playground nearby intended for use of everyone in the neighborhood. There are other places that are called “children’s play gardens” where playground equipment is designed to emphasize the natural environment as the setting and nature is the element of the project.

How to design a playground? Here is where backyards can be useful. Parents and their children can create a nature-themed playground project right in their own lawns. They can spend their weekends or summer vacations building their own nature outside of home. Simple playground equipment can be customized to recreate nature’s wonders. The fun part is when parents discuss the theme with their children. It can be a forest, tree house, lagoon, island, or anything nature-inspired.

Making Outdoor Play Safe for Parents and Kids

Aside from the usual bonding they share, parents should also be aware of the dangers their kids face when playing in a nature-inspired environment and in playgrounds. They should supervise their children but also let them explore on their own until they get the hang of it. Extra care should be observed when playing in a nature-themed playground project and with toddlers because this is the most accident-prone part of it all.

We all know that the great outdoors is the best place where kids can play freely while exploring the wonders around them. Parents should make sure that their kids can experience nature-inspired playgrounds in outdoor play spaces or simply within the vicinity of their own homes. When choosing for playground equipment, they should also keep in mind the importance of combining nature adventure with being durable and safe. Remember, this is a place where kids and their families gather to have fun and be one with nature. Children and parents who make it a habit of playing outdoors will have happier, healthier, and stronger lives.

About the author: Daniel T Anderson, a writer at the essay help online service. He keeps up with advancing technologies to get acquainted with the latest technological tendencies. Besides, Daniel is keen on reading modern literature and traveling.

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