Spending time outside together has benefits for both you and your child
- Research evidence shows the positive impact of spending time outdoors on the mental health of both adults and children. Air, wind, rain and sun provide different ‘sensory’ experiences to being inside which can have a positive effect on our mood.
- The government recommends 180 minutes of physical activity for one–five-year-olds per day (30 mins for under one’s). Making sure you spend some time outside together everyday walking, scooting, cycling or playing will help you reach this goal and support your child’s physical health as well as developing their strength and coordination.
- Children are naturally curious and absorb new information like a sponge! When you spend time outside, the environment is constantly changing due to the weather, the seasons and the movement of people. This provides endless new conversation starters. Chat with your child about what they have spotted and find interesting, and this will help their speaking skills improve.
- Time spent in natural light and engaging in physical activity can have a positive impact on children's sleep!
- When they are outside, children can sing, chat, shout, explore and experiment using their voices – it doesn’t matter about the noise!
Tips to help you and your children enjoy being outdoors together:
- Dress appropriately for the weather, with a hat and gloves in cold weather, a coat and wellies if it is wet, sun cream and a hat when it’s hot.
- Find times when you can leave the pushchair at home so you can hold your child’s hand and let them be more independent.
- Hold hands and find a safe space to cross the road and your child will begin to learn about road safety.
- Pause, look, and listen when you can, give yourself and your child time to notice everything around you.
- Children often notice things adults are too busy to see. Chat with your child about what they have spotted and find interesting, and this will help their speaking skills improve.
Find more advice on keeping your toddler active on the Start for Life website.