On his recent visit to Sweden, Prince William, fast becoming a real icon of modern fatherhood, said something that really struck accord with me:
“One lesson that we will take home with us, is that children are actively encouraged to spend time outdoors, whatever the weather.”
5 hours a week
When children are younger they need their whole body to develop their gross motor skills in order to control their fine motor skills – like holding a fork or pencil.
As children get older various studies have consistently shown how outdoor play leads to better social skills and much reduced anxiety.
Interestingly enough over 50% of children researched in the Sudocrem piece said they themselves thought they were spending too much time indoors not enough playing outdoors!
Indoors and online is just so easy
Getting back to the outdoors
Give them their own workstation: No matter how big or small access to outdoor space in, try to create a mini-station that can be placed outside, even for a small amount of time. Something like a Tuff Tray for instance is a brilliant way for encouraging outdoor activities that are confined to safe spaces.
Arrange an outdoor date routine: Being outdoors more isn’t just good for the kids, it’s good for us parents too! Arrange a special date for a few weeks time that you can get excited about as a family. It doesn’t have to be somewhere particularly glamourous, and can definitely be done on a budget to the countryside or out of town walk. Whatever it is, make sure you commit to it, and do it together as a family
Get a great hat/ warm gear: When the kids are wrapped up nice and warm, even the cold of outside can’t stop the fun. So get some quirky hats, scarfs, gloves – introduce a bit of fun into proceedings and be that family who might as well be little teddy bear family climbing up a near hill!