“The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.”
- Og Mandino
Childhood is a magical time for adventure, learning, exploring, and growing. We’ve long believed that spending time outdoors in nature is a crucial part of a child’s development. Feeling confident in nature helps children feel more confident and resilient in their day-to-day life. Being introduced to outdoor sports from a young age helps build better habits into adulthood.
It’s not just our gut feeling or experience that informs this opinion - there’s loads of science backing it too! Read the research below to find out more.
We aim to offer outdoor experiences to children in as many capacities as possible. So whether you’re looking to book a day out for the family, host an outdoors-y birthday party for your mini me, or organise a large youth event for your school, scout club, you name it… We’ve got you covered.
We’re obsessive about safety at the best of times, let alone when we’re working with kids. To run outdoor activities for under-18s in the UK, activity providers are required to fulfil strict safety management practices. These are licensed under the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) - you can view our license.
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10 benefits of outdoor play for your kids
1. It encourages kids to exercise
It seems like common sense, but now it's been properly verified: kids tend to get more exercise when they play outside vs indoor games. This produces a swathe of benefits to their strength and development, both physical and mental. Which leads to the next benefit...
2. It improves athletic abilities
Kids who play outside are faster on their feet. Compared to their indoors-y peers, they run faster, jump further and climb with more ease and dexterity.
3. It helps them become more confident in their abilities
During outdoor play - especially when it challenges any fears, such as heights or water - children learn that they can cope with frightening situations. When children master these challenges, they feel exhilarated, and some researchers believe that these experiences boost their courage and confidence.
4. It teaches new words and concepts
Hands-on exploration helps young children learn new words, especially words for things that kids can experience physically.
5. It reduces the chance that they’ll need specs
Scores of studies show links between time spent indoors and the development of nearsightedness. While spending time in nature can’t guarantee that your kids will never need glasses (other factors may be hereditary), it’s been shown to be protective.
6. It ensures that kids get enough sunlight
Lots of things go wrong when children don't get enough sunlight. The brain tunes its inner clock using light cues, so going outdoors can help children maintain healthy sleep rhythms. Sunlight on the skin is also the best way to make vitamin D, which is crucial for their development.
7. It has special psychological benefits
Nature experiences have a special, restorative effect. Playing in a green space results in improved attention and working memory performance.
8. It lowers the risk of behaviour problems
Kids who feel a strong connection with nature are happier and better-adjusted. Observational studies suggest that lifelong exposure to green space may reduce a child's risk of developing certain behaviour problems, like hyperactivity and attention deficits.
9. It teaches social skills
Researchers have found a substantial link between outdoor play and social savvy. Kids who engage in cooperative outdoor play are more socially expressive and able to engage in positive behaviours, like turn-taking and compromise.
10. It encourages them to respect and protect the environment
It’s generally understood that childhood experiences predict adult behaviour. Researchers have found that childhood time spent outdoors is positively linked with environmentally responsible behaviour during young adulthood.