Helping your children thrive could be as simple as updating your backyard to make it a place they want to spend time and play.
As parents, you most likely have spent time considering which extra-curricular activities could help your children thrive. You may focus on how to get them to eat their veggies and what TV shows they watch. All are very important.
But it may be that we’re overlooking one of the keys to helping our children succeed. Quality family time offers substantial, long-term benefits for children throughout their lives.
Researchers at Penn State found increased time with parents resulted in better social skills and higher self-esteem. According to studies conducted at Arizona State University, a lack of quality family time resulted in a significant increase in substance abuse.
Creating a Fun Outdoor Space Can Be Good for the Whole Family
With toddlers wielding smartphones and teens Snapchatting, it can be difficult to get your family to unplug. But it’s more important than ever to get you and your children off your devices and outside. The Journal of Environmental Psychology’s recent study, ‘Time spent outdoors during preschool: Links with children's cognitive and behavioral development’, revealed children who spend more time outdoors have better executive function and display fewer instances of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms.
Spending Time Outdoors Can Help Your Children Fight Obesity
We all know physical exercise is essential to our health. But with childhood obesity rates on the rise, it’s an even bigger concern for our young ones. Luckily, playing outside can help substantially reduce the chance your children will fight this battle.
According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, playing outside has been linked to a “42% reduction in children’s risk of obesity.”
Time outside has also been linked to decreased stress levels in children. It’s been shown to improve eyesight. And, Harvard Medical School reports that the extra source of Vitamin D your children get while outside can help elevate their mood.
5 Ways to Make Your Patio More Kid-Friendly
1. Make it a Multipurpose Space
Who says your patio has to just be kid-friendly or and adult-friendly? It can be both! You can make your space an area where the young and older members of your family enjoy spending time. This not only encourages the whole family to get outdoors, it helps you spend more time together.
The trick is to designate zones within your patio for different purposes. For instance, you may have a zone for dining, entertaining, and a separate zone for more physical activity – like playing tag. This is the space where your kids can spread out their toys, run around, and just generally be kids.
2. Make Your Gathering Zone Comfy
Think back to stuffy family moments when you were forced to sit on uncomfortable chairs and ‘behave.’ How terrible were those days? Don’t make your backyard another rendition of the same boring moment.
Instead, make the gathering space comfy with an ultra-plush outdoor sectional. By giving your kids and yourself someplace relaxing to land, you help encourage the whole family to spend time in a central place.
3. Give Your Kids Their Own Home
Kids love independence. And one of the secrets to independence is having your own space. For a kid, there’s no better space than a playhouse. It gives them a home sized for them which they can enjoy when you’re outside together as a family.
4. Plant an Edible Garden with Your Kids
There’s something about getting kids hands-on with food that really opens them up to trying new things. This year, have your kids help you plant an edible garden. Making it a veggie-focused one will help them stay interested in getting more of the key vitamins and nutrients they need into their diet.
5. Outdoor Games
Who wants to spend time where there is nothing to do but sit around and talk? Not kids! Make sure your outdoor space is equipped with plenty of games. Better yet, make them games you play together. This helps you create a great bonding experience for the whole family.
Additional Tips for Updating Your Outdoor Space
Not quite ready to say goodbye to the patio? We feel you. For some folks, cold weather has a tendency to drive them indoors. However, we don’t believe in letting a few drops in Fahrenheit keep us from enjoying Mother Nature.
All-weather wicker gives you the same elegant look as traditional wicker furniture without any of the headache.
Back in the day, parents frequently sent their children to play outside as a way to get some peace and quiet. But beyond keeping the adults sane, did you know frolicking in the grass and spending time outdoors is actually good for you?