Due to or modern technological age, children are spending more and more time indoors. It’s important for them to know that getting outside into the garden can be fun too. Now that the nights are lighter, spending time after school in the back garden or down at a local allotment can mean having lots of fun whilst educating your children. Compost Direct, retailers of top soil, tells us more:
Educational development in early years –
Playing in the garden is a great way to develop early-years skills in younger children.
Messy play is a great way to improve sensory and cognitive development, whilst also being heaps of fun. There’s so much research into the advantages of messy play and how this form of free play 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.
Spending time outside can be very exciting for small children and it can open up a whole new world of education for them. Whilst indoors they are often given hard toys to play with, but outdoors there are so many more textures for them to explore! Let them play with sand and mud, get them some mini watering cans and let them enjoy making a splash. This is such a fun way for children to learn.
Academic education –
The outdoors isn’t just restricted to enjoying messy play activities. It can also be a good change of scene for older children to complete their homework after school. Especially on warm summer evenings. 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. Working in the fresh air can be a welcome relief. 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.
In a study between pupils who learnt indoors and those who learnt outdoors, those who were outside were found to have a better understanding of their responsibility to care for the environment. Which in this day and age is incredibly important.
Living a healthy lifestyle –
Research has also discovered that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables or express a preference for that food. This can be a great way to improve their diet and get them outdoors. There’s nothing better than reaping the benefits of your work.
Easy fruit and vegetables to grow include: strawberries, 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.
Getting the kids involved –
Children often love to have some responsibility and help out in the home or garden. 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.
One simple task to get children outdoors could be to grow pretty summer flowers. Each day your child can head outdoors to see how their plants are growing. If they grew sunflowers, they could even practise their maths skills by measuring their flower as it grows taller and taller!
If you are mowing the lawn or potting plants, why not get your child involved with keeping the garden tidy. Let them trim the edges of your garden, water the plants or do some weeding. Not only does this get the kids outside, it’s also a really great way to spend time together!