Lifestyle

Scientists say kids who spend time playing outdoors are happier and smarter

There’s nothing quite like being outdoors in the fresh air – and it’s extremely important for our kids to be out and about in nature on a regular basis.

In fact, recent research has revealed that children who spend a lot of time playing outside are actually happier and smarter.

Scientists say kids who spend time playing outdoors are happier and smarter

Kids who spend time outdoors are happier and smarter

In this day and age, many kids are shrugging off time in the park in favour of watching TV or playing on their tablets and iPads.

However, a study by scientists at the Aarhus University in Denmark found that children who spend time in nature may become less likely to develop psychiatric disorders in adulthood.

Scientists say kids who spend time playing outdoors are happier and smarter

What’s more, a survey by the U.K.’s National Trust found that the average child spends just over FOUR hours a WEEK in nature. The generation before spent on average around 8.2 hours a week playing outdoors.

“Children who are allowed this freedom of time outside get lost in nature,” Ginny Yurich, co-founder of 1000 Hours Outside which is an online community encouraging families to spend time outside, told Parents.com.

“They get lost in their imaginations and they get lost in wonder. And then they rapidly develop. There are many factors why but one reason is due to the rich sensory environment that nature always provides.”

Ginny recommends parents encourage their children to spend four to six hours at least three to four times a week in Mother Nature.

Scientists say kids who spend time playing outdoors are happier and smarter

Ditching the footwear can make your baby smarter

Meanwhile, another study has revealed that walking barefoot in nature is actually beneficial for a child’s development.

Babies put things in their mouth to taste them and like this, touching things – with their hands and feet – is a great way for them to learn about the world around them.

Chiropractor Dr. Kacie Flegal says that walking barefoot often helps improve the development of two sensory systems – the proprioceptive system (your body’s motion and positioning) and the vestibular system (balance and coordination).

In order for these systems to develop as best as possible, it’s a good idea to let your kids walk with their shoes off, as Kacie says feet are equipment with many sensory cells.

baby holding hands

Keeping your baby barefoot helps improve the development of their sensory systems

“Proprioception is the ability to perceive the motion and position of our bodies in space and is generated by receptors located within our joints, connective tissue, and muscles. When activated by pressure and movement, proprioceptors send direct signalling to the brain telling it how the body is oriented,” Kacie tells Natural Child Magazine.

“The vestibular system is the creation of balance and coordination as changes in center (sic) of gravity, posture, and head position shift.

“As babies gain awareness through the five primary senses, they begin generating deliberate movements and gradually learn to hold up their heads, roll over, sit up, crawl, and eventually start walking.”

boy playing sand

“Allow your child to play in grass and dirt”

Kacie adds that while we want to protect our children from cold or harsh environments and keep them safe, we should encourage play in grass, dirt or even wet leaves. 

“As babies begin to walk, they are accustomed to having limited movement and a barrier between the sensitive soles of their feet and the ground,” she says.

“As a result, you will permit them a great platform for the development of higher brain centres (sic) responsible for emotional control, problem-solving, language, social skills, and self-assurance.”

Kacie reveals another benefit to keeping babies barefoot is the encouragement of presence of mind and conscious awareness.

“As the little pads of babies’ feet feel, move, and balance on the surface that they are exploring, the information sent to the brain from tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular pathways quiet, or inhibit, other extraneous sensory input,” she adds.

“This creates focus and awareness of walking and moving through space; babies get more tuned in to their surroundings.”

In other words, ditch the fancy footwear and let your little ones roam free in wildlife (with your watchful supervision over them, of course).

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All that roaming in nature can be thirsty work for your kids – quench their thirst with our Healthy Kids Smoothie

The Healthy Kids Smoothies have been specially made as a healthy snack for kids and are ideal if you have fussy eaters or want to ensure your children have a nutritious and healthy smoothie snack. It also has a 4.5 Health Star Rating when made with skim milk. It contains NO added sugars.

kids banana smoothie

 

The sugar content in The Healthy Kids Smoothie is from NATURAL sugars from the lactose in the milk and is FREE from added sugars. WHO recommend aiming for 5% added sugars in the diet and this product provides NO added sugar.

  • The Healthy Mummy Kids Smoothie is rich in carbohydrates and protein and is a natural energy packed smoothie made for kids.
  • It contains 16 essential vitamins and minerals and when combined with milk, provides children with 50% of their Calcium RDI. 
  • It also contains probiotics needed for healthy guts.

What do you need to know about The Healthy Kids Smoothie

  • It is a nutritious snack made for kids
  • It contains probiotics
  • It contains 16 Vitamins and minerals
  • It contains NO artificial colours, sweeteners, flavours, preservatives or MSG in the product
  • It is rich in protein
  • It contains NO added sugar
  • It contains 16 Vitamins and minerals – when combined with milk

Allergy information

The product contains dairy (the base of the smoothie) and a small amount of soy (within d-alpha-tocopherol).

The product does not contain any ingredients derived from gluten, fish, eggs, nuts or sulphites. However, the factory in which the product is made does store and manufacture these products but they are not produced on the same line.

For more info on the Kids Smoothies and our products, click here. 

jennifer
written by:

Jennifer Hartnett

Jennifer is our Senior News Producer with a passion for trending news and lifestyle stories. Jennifer spends the rest of her time running around after her son Kian.