By Nicholas Castle
With technology playing such a major part of everyone's life it is easy to become submerged in a world that is controlled by it. For children, this can have devastating effects. Don't get me wrong, technology has a place in our lives, but we need to remember that balance is important. This is an important lesson to teach our children.
There are numerous reasons for getting out children outdoor and enjoying nature. The obvious one is physical and mental health. not all children enjoy competitive sport.
They can feel belittled and put down by peers if they "Are not good at sport!" this can lead to bullying, lack of self-esteem, poor self-confidence and stress or any combination of these.
This means children can withdraw and exercise is limited or non-existent.
Mental Health, An Increasing Concern
Mental Health issues are an increasing concern, but outdoor activity can decrease stress and increase cognitive function for children. Plus, there is a definite calming effect for children showing symptoms of ADHD, even when it was completing the same the same task which increased the symptoms when completed indoors.
Education, Improved Results in School.
Being outdoors and learning about nature has a positive impact on children. Firstly, there is the effect on schooling; children getting outdoors and taking part in activities have been found to be 56% less likely to have a discipline referral at school. Plus, a 22% reduction in the level of absences from school.
In addition to improvements in behaviour there are educational improvements. It has been found that 75% of children who spent time outdoors showed improvements in levels of creativity and increased problem solving skills.
Families, Bringing People Together
One of the main benefits of taking part in activities outdoors is the positive impact on the family. Being outdoors reduces stress which gives families a relaxed environment without distractions found in the home. This helps improve the communication between family members. Whether the parents have a good knowledge of nature or are learning themselves it provides an opportunity for families to spend time together and learn about the world around them and skills that may be new to them.
Risk, Manage It, Don't Stop It
Many people have had it instilled into them that taking risks is a bad thing and is dangerous. They are right, many things are dangerous, but that isn't a reason for children not to do something. It is a reason to teach them to assess and manage risk. I start to teach children as young as 6 years old knife skills. Some adults say "You shouldn't do that? It is dangerous." The reply is simple, they are right it is dangerous and that is why we must teach these skills. Teaching knife skills teaches respect and that knives are tools to be used in a safe way. If we wait until the child is older it might be too late.
An Essential Part of Growing Up
Outdoor activities are essential in the development of children and families. It provides skills and develops qualities that will enable them to be successful in life, whatever they set out to do.
Bushcraft Skills are a great way to make going outdoors fun and challenging for all the family. All the family can learn new skills and find out what nature holds and what the world is like around where they live.
Nicholas founded, Bushcraft For Kids, a not for profit organisation,that teaches children and families to thrive and survive in all areas of their lives, by offering free help and resources including online activities and courses/experiences for young people and families.
Get yours at [http://www.bushcraft4kids.co.uk]http://www.bushcraft4kids.co.uk. Signup for the free newsletter, receive the latest ideas and resources to develop your children and family whilst having fun and learning new skills.
Have you and your children started the Bushcraft For Kids Leaf Hunt Challenge yet?
Visit http://www.bit.ly/2o9kHtH and start the Leaf Hunt Challenge. Just download the worksheet and use the resources on the website to learn how to identify the trees.
Five Reasons Children Should Be Experiencing The Great Outdoors