This time of year is one of my least favourite times. The days are short, the nights are long and it is COLD! Also, I feel like we end up outside a lot less than we do in the spring, summer or even in the autumn. This time of year is when I massively fail on getting my ten thousand steps daily!
Getting out and about is something very important to me. It does wonders for my mental health and it usually gets a good nap out of Eden if she’s had the wind in her hair for a bit and the opportunity to really play. It means she meets other kids, she gets to learn about the world around her and she gives herself a good workout in the process. Kids learn so much from play – I know Eden learns a lot from watching other kids and even tackled the dreaded big slide after encouragement from an older child at our local playground.
Childhood obesity figures in the UK are on the rise and latest statistics shows that 1 in 3 children between the ages of 2 and 10 are overweight. 1000 of these are children referred to hospital for treatment. Isn’t that terrifying? As much as there are always outliers, just getting out and about can make a massive amount of difference to most kids. Not only in respect of their physical health, but their mental health too.
We’re lucky enough to have several playgrounds, parks and even 7,000 hectares of 800 year old woodland within an hour’s walk from our front door. South East London is wonderful in that respect. We have a real mix of older play areas and newer, well maintained play areas with lovely wooden play equipment. We don’t really have an excuse not to go, to be honest!
So, here’s a reminder from me to you, readers. Even though it’s quite frankly depressing outside, get those little ones out! Get them running, splashing through muddy puddles and spotting squirrels in the woods. Get them climbing up and conquering the big slide and get them showing other kids that they can do it too! It does wonders for their mental and physical health, and their self confidence, too. And who knows, you might even get to drink a hot coffee when you get home and they sleep off their adventures.
This is a collaborative post with ESP Play