As children spend less time outdoors and more time being entertained by technology, it’s important for them to be encouraged to spend time outside of the house. And they don’t have to go far! As the lighter nights come in, spend time after school in the back garden or down at a local allotment and have fun whilst educating your children. Compost Direct, retailers of growbags, tells us more:
For Young Children
If your children are in their early-years development stage, getting in the garden can be a good way for them to extend their skillset.
Getting messy is one way that they can have fun and develop. There is an abundance of research behind the advantages of messy play and how this unstructured form of activity can really help your child develop. This can be done in the garden with sand, water or even mud! It’s all about breaking down the usual rules that your child might face, such as being restricted to a play mat or not being too disruptive with toys. Encourage your child to draw shapes with different (child-friendly) tools and their fingers in various materials — this can help children to build up their finger and arm muscles, which is useful for when they come to hold a pen.
Allow your child to become exposed to new textures, making them more excited about being outdoors. They become used to handling solid objects, such as toys, and these are easy for children to learn because they don’t change shape. For example, letting your child come into contact with mud, a softer material, lets children broaden their knowledge and allows them to compare and understand new textures.
You could encourage your child to learn or do homework outdoors. Your child might have spent all day behind a desk at school doing their work and it’s nice to have a break from this when they come home. Make it easy for your child to work outdoors by purchasing a gazebo or having a table and chairs outdoors where homework can be done. 85% of teachers reported that they saw a positive impact on their pupils’ behaviour when they were taught outside. In addition to this, 92% of pupils said that they preferred their lessons to be outdoors.
Research has shown that pupils who learnt outdoors rather than indoors were found to have a better understanding of caring for the environment.
Encourage Healthy Lifestyle
Other studies have shown that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat it! This can be a great way to improve their diet, as well as getting them outdoors.
To get children as involved as possible, grow plants that are easy to manage. These include: strawberries, cabbage, radishes and potatoes. You can decide on the size of your patch and watch as your child runs outside to see what has grown that week.
General help Outdoors
Many children like to feel a sense of responsibility around the home as they help you out. And in the garden, it’s no different. Give them some tasks to do daily, or even weekly, and it’s likely that they’ll start to look forward to spending time in the garden.
To help with their measuring skills, get them to grow their own sunflower. Each day your child can head outdoors to see how their plant is growing and practise some maths skills through measuring. This can be exciting for a child, as often the sunflower will grow taller than them!
Let your child join in with garden maintenance too. Let them trim the edges of your garden, water the plants or do some de-weeding — it’s a nice way to spend time together, too.