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Written by
FionaOutdoors
FionaOutdoors

How to give kids more outdoors fun time

If you’ve read the latest survey that reveals, yet again, a generation of inactive, indoorsy kids, you might well be thinking about new ways to get your kids up and about and outdoors. The new research, which questioned 2,000 parents across the UK, found that the average amount of time spent playing outdoors each week has drastically dropped since the current generation of parents were children. The figures show that youngsters spend on average only five hours and 36 minutes playing out every week. The total time spent outdoors on weekdays is less than half that enjoyed outdoors at weekends, according to the study carried out by JCB Kids. Notably, today’s parents, whose childhoods fell during the 1970s and 80s, spent much more time playing hopscotch, rounders and netball than their children do. Weekday play for parents was calculated as 10 hours and 26 minutes, while weekend outdoor fun was as much as nine hours.

Why playing outdoors is good for kids

Perhaps you’re wondering why there is so much fuss about this generation of indoors children? According to the health and well-being experts, playing outdoors is so important for children because it keeps them active and also offers time for socialising with friends. Outdoors play, compared to being indoors and playing a computer game, offer greater realm for “fostering an adventurous spirit and a create imaginative, too.

Create more time for outdoors play

One of the best ways for children to enjoy more time outdoors is with their parents. Factoring in a few hours every weekend for a family activity can create healthier kids – and adults – and give many families much desired quality family time. These days, it could be that you need to show your kids how to enjoy outdoors adventures – and here are a few ideas. * Buy a packet to chalk sticks and show the kids how to mark out and play hopscotch. Or teach kids a few traditional skipping rope games. See Playground Games and Yard Games for ideas. * Add a trampoline to the garden if you have some spare money (or treat the kids to an outdoors toy for their birthday). Adults and kids can enjoy a bounce on the trampoline together so long as the weight disparity is not too huge, or else you take care not to bounce kids off the edge! * Head to a local park and find a sturdy tree to climb. It is important not to cause any damage to the tree. Perhaps you could start by learning some “monkey” skills at a local playground and then transfer the skills to trees. Look out for fallen trees, too. * Play a round of golf, or learn to fish, or head off for any number of active outdoors adventures, such as white water rafting, archery or canoeing, with your family. * Family walks don’t need to be boring and filled with children’s moans and groans. Read our top tips for great family walks blog. Try forests, beaches and riversides for fun and active  walks with the family. If this proves a success a family walking holiday would bring even more quality time benefits in the school holidays. Check out the Fife Coastal Path walking holiday, for example. * Cycling is another great family activity. With different ages of kids catered for with tag-along bikes or on their own bikes, you can cover many satisfying miles. Try off-road bikes rides that include a café or ice cream stop to keep little ones pedalling along. Again, a cycling holiday could prove to be a great family holiday. Check out our family cycling holidays.
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