3 Summer Outdoor Activities to Bond With Your Children
The summer is upon us, which means you have ample time to get outside with your children, whether they are babies, toddlers, or on their school holidays.
With such good weather, you don't want your children stuck inside playing with their Christmas toys or glued to a television screen.
Parents should encourage their children to get out of the house more, especially as there is a growing trend that is seeing children spending less and less time outside. One study found that 74% of children spend less than an hour outdoors every day and only a third play outside for 30 minutes or less. Not only will your children be less physically fit, research from the University of Essex "found just five minutes "green exercise" can produce rapid improvements in mental wellbeing and self-esteem."
With this in mind, here are three activities you can do with your children to not only get them outside but also to help you bond more as a family.
Play Sport as a Family
The hot weather is the perfect time to go out and play sports together. There are lots of different sports and activities that can be done by a group of 4 or more. For instance, if your children have been following Wimbledon this year, you can encourage their curiosity by getting garden-friendly tennis equipment. Items like The Rex tennis and Velcro catch ball game are designed for all ages, as younger children can use the Velcro to play, and older children and adults can battle it out without any assistance. Even something as simple as a family game of catch, or rolling a ball to your baby, can be an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors.
Going on a walk is the perfect time for the entire family to bond. Whether it is a trip to the park or taking the dog for a walk, this is a great way to spend quality time with your children. Even if you have a baby, an outdoor trip is still beneficial. Baby Centre presented research that showed how a parent-facing pushchair allowed parents to bond better with their child. This is because they can maintain eye contact with their baby when they communicate with them. It is during these early months that babies are less concerned with what is happening around them and more concerned with their parents.
As they get older, environmental awareness increases and they will prefer to be forward facing. The single pushchairs displayed on iCandy show how some models can be adjusted to be both parent- and front-facing depending on the age of the child. This will come in handy as it gives parents the option to adapt to their child's needs as they grow.
Most pushchairs also come with integrated ride-on-boards, which means that if you have a toddler or young child, they too can take advantage of the pushchair if they get tired. One of the best places to take young children is a wooded area, as they will have lots of opportunities to explore and be adventurous.
You don't have to leave your home to find an activity that will help you bond with your children. Spending an afternoon in the garden is not only an easy way to get out of the house, but it will also teach your children some vital life skills. Caroline Levitt from the Diggers Forest School and Nursery explained how gardening could help children develop: "gardening can also be a fantastic sensory experiment, handling dry earth or gloopy mud and even worms! It is a great way for children to learn patience while they watch their produce grow naturally".
An excellent way to encourage your children to garden is to set up a small patch that is theirs to look after. Growing vegetables will not only help them learn about the environment but also give them the satisfaction of eating what they produce.
Even if you can't be with your children all the time during the summer, it is still best to find ways to get them outdoors. The Kids Country Day Nursery has plenty of activities that take place outside, including riding on Freddie, the pony.
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