One thing I’ve noticed about my little girl is that she is a different person when I take her into the great outdoors. While she enjoys watching TV and playing with her toys in our home, there is a marked difference when we go for a walk together or when I let her run around in our back garden. Here’s why spending time in the outdoors is good for young children who are showing signs of boredom or sadness and why it’s important to make it a staple of your daily routine. 

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

  1. It gets them moving: Toddlers, unlike adults, seem to have full batteries when they wake and these last them until they reach bedtime, despite how much activity they do during the day. With that said, letting them run around in the park or in your outdoor space will allow them to release some of that bundle of energy in a positive way. Toddlers are always on the move so giving them a wide open space to do this in can deplete their resources more than time at home ever could. 
  2. It’s important that they view it in a positive light: If going outdoors is a chore for you, they will grow up to be indoor people. If you make it exciting by incorporating small things into your time away from home like going to a playground, posting letters (toddlers love posting letters!) or feeding the ducks, they will associate it with good things and are more likely to spend time in nature as they grow older. 
  3. Fresh air: Even if you clean daily and open your windows often- nothing compares to the air you breathe in when you go outside. It’s vital that your toddler gets a hit of good quality air daily, even if it’s just on the walk to nursery or to get something from the local corner shop.
  4. It’s a teaching tool: You can use your time outside to teach your toddler about new things that perhaps won’t crop up in other walks of life. The names of different birds you see together for example or what the green, amber and red lights mean on a traffic light. 
  5. The real thing is always more meaningful: There are things your toddler will see in the outdoors that they may experience through TV, books or toys, but it simply won’t be the same. Nothing compares to feeling a blade of grass, seeing birds crowd round to eagerly eat some seed or watching a butterfly flutter its wings while resting on a flower. Toddlers are in awe at the world around them and it’s important that they get to experience it first hand rather than seeing it in a picture or in an episode of a show. 
  6. The outdoors provides the best fun: Toddlers enjoy nothing more than splashing in muddy puddle, picking up sticks and finding pebbles to hold like small treasures. While these creations from nature may pass us by as adults- toddlers find joy in the simplest of pleasures and as parents we should embrace this for as long as we can. 
  7. It’s free fun: Taking your child for a walk in your local park or woodland costs nothing and they will get as much out of it as they would doing something that blows your family entertainment budget entirely. If you teach your little one that you can enjoy a day out without spending a penny, they will grow up to seek out similar things to fill in their time, which will hopefully lead to a sensible attitude to money too!

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If you have children you will know all too well that not every moment is Instagram or picture postcard worthy. They have the ability to push you to your limits while making your heart swell with unconditional love for them at the same time. Parenting can be bittersweet but it’s important to cherish time with your kids, even if it’s just one tiny moment of every day, here’s why…

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