Humans are instinctively drawn towards their natural surroundings, however, in recent years, Generation Z has somewhat challenged this concept as technology has become more and more an essential part of everyday life. Children are exposed to technology at home and at school; in fact, it can be alarming how many hours a day some kids spend indoors sitting in front of a screen.
Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance to encourage kids to get outside. There is an overwhelming number of physical, emotional and social reasons why children should spend time outdoors. Keep reading to learn more…
Did you know that the more regularly that children are exposed to the great outdoors, the less likely they are to require glasses? Technology is known to have an adverse effect on the eyes, causing near-sightedness. In fact, a child’s chances of developing short-sightedness can be hugely reduced by having constant contact with the distant horizons in the outdoors.
Not only does time outside work to prevent near-sightedness but it can also increase a child’s attention span. The sum of children around the globe with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is numerous however, it’s been said that contact with the outdoors appears to reduce the symptoms that come with ADHD. The outdoors forces children to ignore distractions and practice an effortless type of attention that creates pleasure.
We must also mention the obvious physical effects such as an increase in Vitamin D levels caused by the sun and the exertion that’s attached to the nature of playing outdoors. We know that it creates an atmosphere for children to run and jump, using key muscle groups.
The outdoors provides a different sort of stimulation in children which cannot be granted indoors. Nature has the ability to activate all of their senses simultaneously. The outdoors also has the ability to promote creativity and imagination, allowing children to create meaningful interactions between their peers and the environment. The openness and fresh air of the outdoors allows children to think more freely as they step away from technology and create their own interactive world.
An outdoor environment also has the ability to reduce stress and increase self-confidence, as it’s known as a natural healer. The open spaces allow the mind to relax in a way that it can’t when situated in confined spaces. The expansive nature of the outdoors also creates a space that is open to many different types of play that involve less structured than indoor activities. This also links back to the nature of creativity which allows children to gain self-confidence and discover more about themselves.
Finally, the outdoors teaches responsibility and forces children to use their ability to assess risks and identify hazards such as cars and hard surfaces to ensure safety. Outdoor play isn’t always supervised, which allows children to become more independent. Some parents may find it conflicting, allowing their children to play outdoors while unsupervised due to safety risks, however, they should not allow these fears to prevent children from going outside.
Outdoor interactions promote the development of social skills in our adolescence. It is important to keep balance in kids study and extracurricular activities. Instead of engaging primarily with a screen, it gives children the opportunity to collectively engage with one another, while encouraging collaboration. It teaches children how to work in harmony, facing decisions such as who should get the first turn on the swing set. Children also learn how to share, negotiate and solve conflicts in these situations. This allows children to create strong relationships and encourages communication skills. The more exposure a child has to group settings, the more likely they are to gain self-confidence.
While some may realise the importance of getting kids outside or the consequences of keeping them indoors, have you ever considered how the shrinking size of backyards may be affecting your children? Kids are encouraged to have an optimal outdoor space that encourages their creativity. Therefore, the way that you choose to layout your backyard has a massive impact on the kids.
If you are looking to optimise the space in your backyard, get in contact with Innovative Verandahs today. No matter what the style is that you’re wishing to design, we’ll construct a beautiful outdoor living environment for you and your family. One that allows you to relax, reconnect and build a lifetime of wonderful memories.