Countless studies prove the importance of outdoor play. It’s good for the body, great for the mind, and it’s fun. Here are some inspirational ideas to get your children out into the garden.
A recent study by Nielson showed that the average US child watches 24 hours of TV a week. That might not sound a lot, but it’s actually one whole day of the week that’s spent staring at the screen! Even worse, that’s not including the time spent playing with video games or doing other sedentary activities inside.
Regrettably, children often spend their time in the man-made, rather than the natural world. They get on a bus to go to school, then spend an entire day in a classroom. When at home, they spend yet more time indoors, and seldom come into contact with nature at all! This isn’t a good situation. Studies have shown that children who spend more time in front of a screen than interacting with people have reduced attention spans, and they’re less adept at communication.
An Irreversible Situation?
It might sound like a crisis, but thankfully, it’s easy to get your child playing outside, providing you adopt the right approach. Allowing your child to run wild and get messy in the garden is a great way for them to burn off energy, and get some fresh air! There are plenty of simple, fun garden activities that your child can try – and you’re free to get involved as much or as little as you want. Here’s some great suggestions.
Great Garden Games For Children
You should always set aside some time for fun in the Great Outdoors! These games and activities for children are fun, imaginative, and guaranteed to impress even the most TV-addicted kids.
- Create A Race-Track – If your child has a bike or scooter, create a race track in the garden, complete with obstacles that they need to steer around. Allow your child to have a go at developing the course themselves, by adding extra obstacles or changing the route. If your garden isn’t big enough for this, a local park makes a good alternative.
- Make Some Nature-Art – You’ll need a piece of paper, some glue, plus some paints for this activity. Let your child collect some natural art materials from your garden, such as grass, dead flowers, fallen leaves and small pebbles. Then, let them use the natural materials to create a garden-inspired piece of artwork.
- Explore New Worlds – Kids love role-play, and nothing is more exciting than creating a new world to play in. Play tents and tunnels are excellent for helping your child develop a make-believe environment; though if they get stuck for inspiration, you could give them a few ideas. Magical castles, mysterious jungles and alien planets are all popular choices!
- Play With Water – If it’s a hot day, playing with water is a particularly enjoyable activity. If you’ve got a paddling pool, invest in some small buckets, pouring jugs and squirting toys, which will keep kids of all ages amused. If your garden is too small for a paddling pool, a washing up bowl filled with water is just as fun. Remember to supervise children when they’re playing with water.
- Get Sporty – As children get older, they increasingly enjoy competitive sport. A children’s cricket or football set will keep older boys and girls amused for hours, and if your kids are younger, a simple bat and ball is guaranteed to entertain them. If your child is playing on their own, hitting a ball against a wall is also good fun, and develops gross motor skills.
- Make A Wacky-Races Course – If you’ve got any inflatable bouncers, sacks or ride-on toys, encourage your child to make a ‘wacky-races’ course, where they have to bounce round obstacles in the fastest time possible!
- Play In The Sand – A sand-pit is a great way to unleash your child’s imagination. Toddlers will love pouring and digging up sand with plastic shovels and buckets, and older children can use the sand to create a desert scene for their toy animals.
- Make A Mini-World – If you’ve got a large plastic tray, lend it to your kids so they can make a mini-world for their toy figurines. Small rocks make great mountains, a few branches make a forest, and a pile of leaves makes a comfortable bed!
- Family Scavenger Hunt – Create a list of objects that can be found in your backyard – for example, a feather, a red leaf, an old bottle or a pebble. Then, get your children to find the items, and return them to a designated place as quickly as possible. There are plenty of variations to this game – you could get children to find an item beginning with every letter or the alphabet, for example!
- Gardening Fun – Believe it or not, kids love gardening, especially when you give them their own little patch of land to grow vegetables in! A children’s gardening kit is ideal for this.
When should you and your kids get started? Answer – as soon as possible! Getting active outdoors supports a healthy lifestyle. It also fosters confidence and develops a sense of sportsmanship – and it’s the perfect break from the TV or computer screen.
Playing in the garden is not only beneficial to your child, but it’s great fun too. Try to give your child some freedom in the garden – to explore, experiment and enjoy some energetic play. It’s a great way to burn off some energy, whilst boosting health and promoting better wellbeing.
Kiddit have a range of great garden toys for your kids to enjoy. To explore our outdoor toys, simply visit kiddit.com today.