Enjoying the outdoors with your family
Anisa Lewis, Coach & Director of Parenting Success – Yorkshire, talks about some of the benefits of getting outside with your family?
What do you feel are some of the benefits of getting outside? For me, it is the freedom your child can experience and life skills that can be learnt. So much of our children’s lives are managed and for want of a better word controlled. Whereas outside they can explore, problem solve, and where it is safe to do so, run free.
I remember as a child riding my bike around the neighbourhood, walking to my friend’s houses a few streets away, even taking myself off to the local shops. This is not something that my daughter at age 9 (very soon to be 10) is yet to experience. I consider myself quite a laid-back parent and my daughter is quite worldly wise, however, as a society can you trust your neighbour, a stranger, are you able to know if the car will see and stop for your child to cross the road safely? We live in a very different world to 30 years ago, even 5 years ago. Although at present I am not in a position to gift to my daughter the freedoms that I had as a child, there are other ways to get this, and this is why at every available opportunity, I encourage you to get outside.
Outside is on the whole free of gadgets, devices, although these can add to the fun if you want to try something like geocaching. Geocaching is an activity whereby an item or container is hidden at a particular location for GPS users to find by means of coordinates posted on the internet.
In the part of the country where we live there are so many amazing walks that are close by, all for free, except maybe in a few cases a small fee for car parking.
I have not met a child yet who does not love jumping from rock to rock, paddling in streams and running free in a field. Seek out places where you live where this is possible.
Parks, put there by the local councils to encourage you to make use of your local areas are free and very accessible as they are usually in the heart of a community.
Back gardens, big or small offer so many play opportunities from kicking a ball, to blowing bubbles. Trampolines, swings, climbing sets are great additions, which can add hours of fun to your child’s day. Show your children you are able to have fun and set up a water fight and get involved.
So come on get the family outside.
You can plant flowers, pull weeds or grow your own vegetables and all of this is a great thing to do to teach your child about sustainability, food miles and being able to spend quality time together as a family.
There is also something to be said for putting a blanket on the grass or your garden furniture out and sitting or lying down and reading a good book or two.
Could you have a picnic in your garden? Or watch a sunset or a sunrise? Go camping or on a bike ride? However you choose to spend time outside, taking in some fresh air, I encourage you to absorb the moment, be present and enjoy.
Written by Anisa Lewis – Coach and Director of Parenting Success Yorkshire