At the time of writing, the country has been on lockdown for several weeks. We are allowed out for daily exercise, but playgrounds are closed. It is a surreal time for everyone, kids especially. However, this situation highlights how undeniable it is that outdoor play is full of fantastic benefits. And if you are lucky enough to have a garden, there is no better place for budding outdoor enthusiasts to spend their time right now. Taking the time to escape to the garden will do wonders for body and mind; for people of all ages. So here are some of the excellent perks of kids having regular garden time…
Physical and Mental Wellbeing
The reality is that many children enjoy a balance of some time inside mixed with the opportunity for getting outdoors too. Of course, there also needs to be the consideration of where you and your child ultimately feel most comfortable as well. When optimising your garden for play, it helps to consider both active and relaxed options. Trim trails balanced with a relaxing sensory area and/or comfy seating, for example. It is also useful to be mindful of seasonal possibilities too. The purpose is to create a comfortable space that can be visited at any time for a change of scenary; that there is always a place to either burn off energy, or recharge the batteries. If implemented in the right way, a garden can be an ideal place for creating positive mental attitudes, and promoting good mental health and wellbeing.
Time outside is guaranteed to inspire some creativity. More so, if you have a garden that naturally fosters wildlife or is big enough to invest in some outdoor play equipment to help whisk young minds to another time and place. The outdoors is diverse and stimulating; the foundational ingredients in developing a strong sense of imagination.
Exploration and Adventure
Skills such as risk assessment, personal limits and boundaries often come from heading outside. The world is bigger, more exciting and a little more complicated in the wilderness; even in our own backyards. Most of us can remember a time where a particular slide, swing, or one piece of playground equipment or other challenged us when young. Just as likely, many will have a memory of victory or defeat. That experience of personal discovery or limitation is frequently found under these conditions; whether it is in the garden at home or the local play park.
Education and Learning
Learning comes in many forms and, contrary to cultural presentation, far exceeds the realm of traditional academics. It’s kind of funny, we all know that early years development heavily involves learning through play but as children grow many seem to disregard this concept. Regardless, outdoor play will help young minds process and implement mental, physical and sensory information in a more diverse context.
*This is a collaborative post