We’re lucky to live on a farm, there’s nothing like the great outdoors! But anyone can seek out their nearest patch of green or blue, here’s even more reason to do that regularly –
Sue Palmer is a former primary school headteacher and author of the groundbreaking book Toxic Childhood. She also campaigns for the introduction of a kindergarten stage for three- to seven-year-olds.
She says: Children are trapped between cool – iPads and other devices – and school from the age of four or five. Playing outdoors, doing things for yourself, like building dens or making perfume from petals, is incredibly important in developing emotional resilience. If a task doesn’t work the first time, the child tries it again a different way until they succeed.
Studies have shown that the satisfaction a child gets from achieving self-made play goals outdoors has enormous repercussions for mental health. Playing outside with other children increases adaptability and social skills. It teaches them how to collaborate to get things done. Camping with children is a great way to do this. Or just go to the local park after school.