So the school holidays are upon us and that question rears its ugly head once more – “What am I going to do with them for 6 weeks??!”
If you can drag your kids away from their screens – the Pods and Pads that now occupy their lives – and get them to the back door, you may just stand a chance of reacquainting them with that big place that isn’t their bedroom. AKA… the great outdoors
It’s not simply the fact that it’s beautiful outside. It is now accepted across the science community that there are very significant health benefits to spending time outside. And now the summer holidays are almost upon us, it’s the perfect time to give them the final, gentle nudge they need to get out there and amongst it.
Some studies now even refer to Nature Deficit Disorder, that encompasses those children deprived of the outdoor world. There is now, undoubtedly, a disconnect; in a word where children will no doubt jump at the chance to play with an App called “Nature”, but are less likely to appreciate the real thing, on the other side of their window. It is paramount, therefore, to reconnect our children to their outdoor environment – whether kicking a football around or climbing a tree – reconnecting them to a world one doesn’t have to “plug in”.
A healthy boost
Fresh air can certainly help the respiratory system, whilst sunlight helps the body manufacture vitamin D, which helps build bones. Being outdoors also encourages a child to play, and to enjoy the simple pleasure of inventing fun, games and associated role-play. Of course it also helps with exercise, and an appreciation for a healthy lifestyle can help with all manner of health issues further down the line, from obesity to the proven link between a sedentary lifestyle and habits such as smoking. So don’t get on a treadmill… get outside and run mother nature’s own treadmill!
Being outdoors also makes us more creative. Again, as children we are compelled to invent games to play. For adults, we also begin to park the distractions that occupy our thoughts as fresh air blows the cobwebs from the cerebral cogs, allowing them to turn more easily.
The outdoors provides for a wonderful sensory environment – nature sounds lovely, and it also smells lovely – to the extent that it can assist people to convalesce, and recover from illness. You are, however, unlikely to benefit from the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors if you are plugged into a Playstation attempting to kill the avatars of the people you would normally class as your friends.
So, being outside benefits us all, from the smallest children to stressed-out adults, through to elderly people, perhaps in poor health. Think about it – it’s where we evolved as a species, in the first place – and it remains the place where we work, think and play the best.
Maybe the issue is not the desire, but the state of your particular slice of the great outdoors? However, if the garden is truly a mess, and especially if it is getting in the way of you, your kids… even your grandkids getting out there, why not consider an artificial lawn from Cheshire Artificial Grass? Then you can all play to your heart’s content (and long term health!) safe in the knowledge there will be no long-term effects – no damage, no stains, no mess…
Although you are unlikely to be issued a prescription for an artificial lawn… it may be just the thing the doctor ordered!