Outdoor play is too rare!!!

We recently caught sight of a report carried out which revealed the main concerns of Australian parents (and most likely parents around the world)

Here at Selwood we are huge advocates of outdoor play. Being manufacturers of climbing frames, we more than most, know that encouraging children to play outside has a whole host of benefits.

Over half of parents are worried about the lack of exercise their children are getting and iStock_000051769354Medium40% are concerned that their children eat too much junk food. Other major worries were sleep disturbance and children watching too much tv or spending too much time at a computer screen. These concerns are undoubtedly concerns shared by parents over the world. Even in sunnier climates, such as Australia, parents still worry their children aren’t getting enough exercise.

As well as the obvious benefits of getting children out and about, it could help children get the right amount of sleep. The guidelines state that children lose up to 10 hours of sleep a week and this could be due to their choice of electronic toys. Children in the U.S spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day staring at a screen. This can mean they then find it hard to unwind and go to sleep.

In comparison playing outdoors, perhaps encouraged by outdoor play equipment such as Climbing Frames and swing sets can help children fall asleep. For starters exposure to natural light has the magical effect of setting our body clock so when it’s bedtime our bodies know, which is a stark difference from spending time indoors not quite knowing what time of day it is. This perhaps goes without saying but natural light also has the ability to make us feel refreshed and alert all day.

Nature also has a soothing effect on children. They have stresses and worries just as adults do but time spent amongst nature, exposed to the different colours, textures and sights can go some way to relaxing them.

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Whilst indoor exercise is essential to keeping children fit and healthy it doesn’t quite compare to outdoor exercise which tends to be more child led. In a place with far less boundaries children can go wild and let go running, sliding and jumping. It also makes sense that when exercise is child led and not labelled as ‘exercise’ children are far more likely to carry on for a longer time as it is simply fun.

Of course a great way to solve at least a few of these problems is to invest in one of our swing sets. Outdoor play has been proven to improve children’s sleep patterns and of course it will drag them away from the screens and get them active.

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