As #wildsummer2018 approaches, we are talking about why encouraging your children to ‘unplug’, (that is, to step away from the brightly coloured world of apps, games and TV programmes) and play outdoors is so important for your children.
First of all, children are naturally drawn to playing outdoors and research has shown that exploring an outdoor environment develops them both mentally and physically.
Children are of course often more active when playing outdoors, running around in larger open spaces than they may have access to indoors. That helps them build strong muscles and improve their fitness levels (and all without them really realising!).
Whilst playing outdoors, children are absorbing vital Vitamin D (even in winter), which is so important for children's healthy muscles, teeth and bones. Vitamin D is also found to improve moods and create a positive mental attitude in a child, resulting in happier and calmer children - everyone’s a winner!
Being out in the open, surrounded by lots of new objects really stimulates a child’s imagination and brings out their creative side. It can also help a child feel happier and calmer, with a greater sense of freedom - simply because they are no longer restricted by four walls.
Outdoor play can also help with those much needed social skills that children take with them through life. It is much less intimidating for children to play in areas that are not heavily populated, as so many indoor play areas can be. We find that this means children are more willing to join in with games and activities, during which they talk to different children and make new friends.
With improved social skills comes independence. Children playing outside usually have a larger space to play in and a less structured setting. This teaches them to both play more by themselves and to socially interact with other children, both key factors to increasing their own independence.
At Camp Wilderness we believe in fully immersing children in the wild, leaving behind their phones, ipads and other modern-day distractions to find joy in the simple things. It is truly amazing to watch the pride, enjoyment and determination on their faces as they jump into fresh-water lakes, roam free through wide open plains, sleep in shelters they have built with their bare hands and eat the food they’ve cooked themselves over an open fire.
For more information about Camp Wilderness or to book onto your nearest camp, click here.