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Do we REALLY have to play outside?

It’s January. It’s freezing. No one really wants to get wrapped up and head outside.

But I promise (once you’ve been out) it’s worth it.

And here’s 5 reasons why:

1. The NHS Guidelines state that children age 1-4 should be active for at least 180 minutes a day. That’s 3 hours! It also says over 5s should be spending 60 minutes or more doing something of moderate or vigorous intensity per day. Fine in the summer when they’re running around the park. Much harder to achieve inside your home on a wet Sunday afternoon.

2. Being outside forces a break away from the norm which in turn reduces their anxiety and stress and improving their mood.

3. Unstructured outdoor play boosts brain development. When playing outdoors, children have the chance to try out new ideas, test new skills and become more independent.

4.Children who play outdoors more tend to have better general health, a stronger immune system and a reduced chance of childhood obesity.

5. Outdoor play in generally more physically challenging (think climbing trees, stamina from running around, riding outdoor toys like scooters, crawling under hedges, kicking a ball) meaning our children attain advanced motor skills and muscle strength.

Not sure what to do once you’re outside? Read our ‘Top 10 Outdoor Play Ideas’ post.

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