Everyone benefits from getting outdoors, and children are no exception. Aside from the educational opportunities found in Mother Nature, spending time outside is massively beneficial for mental health and overall wellbeing. No matter the weather, there is always a fun adventure to be had outside, and children are usually the first in line to grab their sun hats or umbrellas and go exploring.
Here are three ways that a good dose of fresh air can help boost children’s mental health.
Connect with nature
From running through fallen leaves, to splashing in puddles and making mud pies, kids love to get hands on with nature. The creativity that comes with being outside is invigorating and actively increases children’s ability to problem solve, think flexibility and become more adaptable, easy going people. Plus, playing outside is a sensory activity that is great for the development of gross and fine motor skills, balance and coordination.
As children play and explore outside, they naturally discover and create obstacles for themselves. Whether they decide to balance along a fallen tree trunk, climb over a stile rather than walk through it, or build themselves a den, their instinctive drive to challenge themselves is clear. As children achieve their goals in this way, they feel a huge wave of pride and accomplishment which boosts their self-esteem and heightens their overall well being.
Improve social skills
Without the confinement of walls, there is less pressure outside for children to share toys and navigate tricky social situations. With the freedom of open spaces, children often find it much easier to play and chat to their peers. Being surrounded by natural objects and activities creates an environment where children can share much more easily. This helps to build their social skills and encourage problem solving and team working behaviours.
With so much to do outside the house, from woodlands to parks, beaches to theme parks, there’s plenty of chances to head out and boost your child’s mental health.