Research shows that children who play outdoors develop better language skills, experience better health and have fewer behavioural problems. That’s why it’s a great idea to encourage children to play outside even when the colder winter weather kicks in. Sadly, many children are now kept indoors as parents have increasing concerns about the danger of strangers and traffic on the roads. So the best thing to do is for the whole family to head wrap up in winter warmers and head outside together, at least while the children are young. It’s healthy and fun for everyone!
Some children can be difficult to tempt outside so we’ve put together some ideas that will help to encourage the kids to spend some time in the fresh air.
Animal Keepers – Animals need our help from time to time and often they struggle to find food and suitable shelter during the winter. There are lots of things your child can do to help, such as:
- Making bug hotels in the garden using old rocks, sticks, bricks, leaves and twigs
- Feeding the birds
- Making dens for feral cats
- Visiting the local ponds and feeding the ducks and swans
Nature Hunts – Nature hunts are easy to do and can be interesting all year round thanks to the changing seasons. Give your child a bucket and head out to find ten new items to find, bring home and make some art work with later on. Look for new leaves, stones, sticks, weeds, and nuts, anything you can find. It’s also a good time to teach your child what’s safe to eat and what’s not safe as some foods can be dangerous.
Outdoor Toys – Include some sturdy toys in your child’s toy box that are able to cope with outdoor play. Create an area in the garden that your child is able to take over fully. Let them dig with their My First JCB toys, collect rocks, plant veggies and flowers, whatever they want.
Puddle Jumping – Most kids like to get messy and play around with water and puddle jumping is the perfect activity. Throw on a few layers, put on your waterproofs and wellingtons and enjoy some good old fashioned jumping in puddles around the neighbourhood. It’s free, excellent exercise and so much fun!
What games do you and your child like to play outdoors? Come and tell us over on the Golden Bear Toys Facebook page.
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