The digital environment we live in is encouraging children to develop unhealthy lifestyles. Enticing them outside is a good way to get children fighting fit and off the sofa. We live in a technology led world where we are constantly surrounded by screens. Access to televisions, computers, tablets and mobile phones is readily available. It’s all too easy to just sit inside watching the latest shows or YouTube videos and playing computer games.
There are many concerns over health and fears about childhood obesity. The NHS recommend that once a child becomes mobile they should be as active as possible. Children under 5 years old need at least 3 hours of activity a day, while those aged between 5 and 18 need at least 60 minutes. Long periods of inactivity are bad for a young child’s health and development.
Active outdoor play is a good way of getting children out into the fresh air and away from screens. Playing outside gives them the chance to exercise their whole bodies, not just their fingers and thumbs. Movement and running around has many health benefits, but can also be fun too.
It’s not just physical health that is important though, mental health needs to be looked after too. Physical activity increases endorphins (happy hormones) in the body, which boosts your mood to make you feel more relaxed, and reduces depression and anxiety.
Playing with others also gives children the chance to develop their social skills. Rather than just communicating from afar over a headset, outdoor play allows for more contact as they can physically play together and interact with others.
There are many different outdoor games that can be played in the garden, including tag, football, catch, or even specially designed large scale board games. If you are after more adventure you can take a walk around a local beauty spot or visit the park. For added convenience, you can bring the playground to your own home by building a climbing frame in the garden.
If your child is pleading with you to take them to the park, but you don’t quite fancy facing the elements, or have to get back home, it’s the ideal solution. Having the park on your own doorstep means not having to deal with crowds of people all flocking out on a sunny day. This also means no queueing and waiting around to get on the swings or favourite apparatus.
A climbing frame at home is a good way to keep the children occupied and out from under your feet. If you have jobs to do around the house, or just want some time to yourself, they will be kept busy having fun for hours, while still under your watchful eye in the safety of your own garden. Plus they will easily be able to get in a quick exercise session playing outside after school, whilst you can get on with preparing dinner. There’s no need for you to take extra hours out of your own busy day to ensure they’re getting the exercise they need.
With a climbing frame, children can enjoy their daily dose of physical activity as they develop skills such as coordination and balance, and build confidence as they climb. Climbing is a good way to strengthen muscles and bones, to really give their body a good workout and burn off excess energy.
At Dunster House we have a wide range of wooden climbing frames for children aged 3 to 14 years old. They each have unique designs and varying features, including swings, slides, monkey bars and climbing walls. Children can make up their own games using their imagination, playing alone, with friends, or with siblings. Maybe they can be the princess up in the tower or an intrepid explorer swinging through the jungle. The climbing frame can be their own secret den, tree house or castle.
Wood is a warmer material than metal that doesn’t conduct heat in the same way. This means your child will be able to play on their climbing frame all year round. You don’t have to worry about their skin getting stuck to icy cold poles, or the frame being too hot to touch in the sun. Also, as a natural material, it won’t detract from the beauty of your garden and will blend in well to the outdoor environment.
Take a look at our range of climbing frames to get children fighting fit with active outdoor play, and encourage them to lead a healthier lifestyle.
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