As children, we grow up with an innate sense of wonderment and curiosity about the world around us. This natural desire to explore beyond our boundaries can be nurtured in so many different ways, from telling them stories about your own experiences and answering questions, to physically taking them out and exploring the world.
Having the opportunity to venture into the great outdoors and discover new, unfamiliar surroundings can provide multiple benefits and opportunities to a child’s development. In this post, we’ll discuss some of the key benefits of exploring the great outdoors as a child, and offer a few suggestions as to how you can provide your family with more opportunities for adventure.
Learning about the world around them
Exploring the outdoors with your children is a great way to open their eyes to the world they live in. From hikes in the woods to family camping trips, outdoor adventures can instil a greater appreciation for natural beauty and introduce them to all kinds of exciting wildlife and habitats. It’s also a great way to introduce them to other topics, such as sustainability and the importance of protecting the natural world.
Providing chances to interact with nature helps children understand the importance of respecting their environment and encourages an ongoing connection to our planet. Outdoor activities also help foster creativity and imagination, as many kids find endless adventure possibilities within nature’s playground. Encourage them to leave their technology behind as you embark on an outdoor family adventure, and see what some real-world, hands-on exploration can teach your little ones.
Opportunity for physical activity
Outdoor adventures are a great way to get the blood pumping. Being physically active is incredibly important for physical and mental well-being, especially for young children in their developmental years. Regular exercise can not only enhance the growth of their muscles and bones, but it’s also beneficial to the development of their cognitive functions and motor skills. What’s more, adopting good exercise habits at an early stage will encourage them to remain active as they grow up.
Physical activity for children doesn’t have to mean playing sports – simply spending time exploring outside and embarking on an outdoor expedition can be equally beneficial. Whatever type of adventure you choose, children will be rewarded with fresh air, beautiful scenery and a much-needed break from their regular day-to-day routine.
Encourages an all-round healthier lifestyle
Spending more time playing and exploring outdoors doesn’t just expose children to the benefits of engaging in more physical activity – there are many advantages to other aspects of their general health, too. For example, this guide to outdoor learning and child development reports that spending at least two hours outdoors every week has been shown to enhance a child’s mental wellbeing and happiness. In addition, enjoying more time outside can be beneficial to a child’s sleep, and improved sleep quality is essential for optimal physical and mental health.
Whether it’s a quick forest walk after school or a half-term camping trip in the countryside, any time you spend with your children outside will be beneficial to their overall development and wellbeing. We hope this guide has inspired you to embark on many more adventures as a family – where will your next one take you?