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26/03/17

Does your child spend too much time on a screen?

Naked screen

Does your child spend too much time on a screen?
5 reasons to get your kid off their screens and learning outside

The amount of time children sit in front of a screen is rising exponentially so the need for learning outside the classroom couldn’t be more relevant and important today.

As parents, we find ourselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. Give in and you have at least a ten-minute window to get things done. But, for our family at least, the ‘giving in’ comes at a price. Staring at a screen is like a drug for my boys and drugs are addictive.  Even if my boys have a moment of ‘phone time’, the fallout when I try to take their screens away is horrendous. It’s like watching a drug addict withdraw from heroine!

Now I’m not saying I’m anti screens!  For goodness sake the whole premise of my business is in front of a screen!  Nor am I saying my boys never have any screen time.  I’m always ‘giving in’ especially at restaurants or when we drive up to Yorkshire.  Screen time is especially good for the odd educational app too or quietening down at the end of the day but…and this is a big BUT I think we need to watch how much our children are spending looking at a screen and asking ourselves would they be better off outside, socialising, interacting with us?

So with this in mind outdoor learning is important and here are my top 5 reasons why.

Fresh air is good for you.
There’s no denying it. Spending time outside in the fresh air makes you feel good. It promotes a sense of well-being. Our mental health is something we have to look after and getting outside, getting some much-needed vitamin D and fresh air, promotes this.

It inspires imagination and creativity.
The ability to dream and imagine is endless outside. It brings out the Peter Pan in us. Children can climb, jump, hide, run and more. They generally feel more free. Free to explore and free to discover. (If you want to see this in abundance follow @placeoflittledreams on Instagram – now there’s a mummy who epitomises ‘getting outdoors!’)

It keeps obesity at bay.
Children find themselves more active when outside. They’re ‘doing’ rather than sitting and ‘doing’ helps them develop physically and mentally.

Encourages being social.
Children like to talk especially when they are exploring an environment they’re not familiar with. It promotes their language, makes them more articulate, which in turn helps their literacy skills. If you can speak, you can write.

The amount they learn is endless.
Children are more motivated to learn when outside. Learning about the outdoor environment is important. Children can learn about the seasons, weather, the flora, the fauna, wildlife, creatures and they like to ask questions.

So get your children outdoors!  But it’s all about balance isn’t it?  So hey I’m not being the ‘screen police’ but let’s say I’m being the ‘screen monitor’…let’s put our phones down for a minute or two and enjoy this lovely Spring weather and get our children outdoors enjoying that fresh air (she says as she is sat indoors typing on a screen…but you know what I mean!)