Everybody tries to impose their view on what young children should be doing at school, at home and at playtime – politicians, teachers, the media, public opinion etc. But the simple fact is that the ultimate responsibility lies with the parents to create a healthy, productive and fun environment for their kids. If you are one of the parents that is concerned about your child’s lack of active playtime and their over-reliance on computers, mobiles and television, then it’s time to invest in outdoor toys such as climbing frames and garden swings.
Outdoor toys afford children the interest in playing outside in a safe environment which they otherwise would not get. Playing outside enables them to get fresh air and exercise on a regular basis whilst keeping it fun for them. We have discussed this idea many times in our blog before – the importance of outdoor play and bringing children back to using their imaginations and keeping them active rather than sofa-bound and zombiefied.
Children want to do things that make them happy and it can be hard these days to pry them away from a monitor or screen. But it needs to be fostered more aggressively by parents. Children do enjoy running around and jumping, climbing and exploring. It’s part of their curious, energised nature. You can tap into that by turning your back garden into a place where they have a variety of outdoor toys at their fingertips.
Motivate them to get off that sofa and play outside for at least an hour a day, especially during summer time when the weather is warm and the outdoors are inviting. Children will get the workout they need without even realising it and at the same time they will be stimulated mentally and physically.
Some parents find it hard not to pander to the demands of their children. They will always ask for the latest this or that, or demand to get the same thing that their friends have, and you may have the kind of children that can be very persistent about these things! But as parents you can present them with outdoor toys and introduce them to the climbing frames, garden swings, trampolines, playhouses etc. by actually playing with them the first few times. Play a game, get them interested, and before you know it they will be into it.
Children need encouragement in activities that they might not be interested in or that seem daunting to them. It’s the same concept of getting your child to go into the water to learn how to swim the first time – they might not want to, but once they do – they love it!
There really is no alternative to outdoor toys and active playtime for children. The modern gadgets of today promise children more excitement but ultimately they cannot fully deliver on helping in a child’s growth. And nothing can beat the imagination of a child. Give them some toy figures and a few hours and they will create epic stories and battles under their bedcovers. They just need the tools and encouragement in which to do it.
Help to maintain your child’s health and give them a more positive playing experience through outdoor toys.