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When you're young, playing outside can be a real journey of discovery. But what are the benefits of outdoor play, and how can we encourage children to learn this way? Some of our greatest memories of the world as a child are playing in the great outdoors. Being out in the open air with your friends, running freely, jumping and climbing is what childhood is made for. However, as the years tumble on by, it's becoming increasingly harder to get children playing and interacting outside. And with the growing obesity issue in the UK, it's high time that we did something about it. According to healthcare specialists, Bupa, the number of obese children in the UK is growing and has more than tripled over the past 25 years. Worldwide, over 42 million children under five were overweight in 2013. It has also been said that if the current trends continue, the number of overweight or obese children will increase to 70 million by the year 2025. This is such a scary thought! Outdoor play allows a child to express their creativity while interacting and understanding the natural world. It also gives them the imagination and freedom to witness the world in their own way. As well as helping them to develop their observational skills, it is also great for both physical and emotional experience, too. The health benefits of playing and learning outside are wide ranging, as not only will it improve overall productivity of the body and mind, but it will also boost attention span; reducing the onset of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) through exposure to natural settings. It can also:
Helping to promote physical development and well-being in children is important, and playing outdoors will do just that. Allowing them to explore their own surroundings and environment will not only help them to hone their coordination skills, but it can also make them stronger and fitter; equalling a healthy mind also. There is nothing better than giving a child the opportunity to connect with and experience the natural world around them, and what better way than encouraging them to play out in the fresh air? By interacting with the outside world on a regular basis, their creativity and curiosity will be sparked and their confidence will be instilled as they learn about new things. We need to encourage children more to play outside and get moving! Not only to reduce the growing obesity problem we have here in the UK, but to also nurture a happy and healthy child in the long run. For information on how Playscheme can help you create a bespoke play area to help you promote outdoor play, browse our website to see what we can do! Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for up-to-date news, new projects and handy information.
Blog posted on 27th October 2015 by Steve Danby