Surrounding Kids with Green Spaces
The benefits of taking your children outside.
Posted September 10, 2019
In a world that seems to be dominated by technology and urban spaces, inhaling smog and staying indoors with gadgets seems to be the new norm for families. However, the benefits of fresh air and green spaces should not be forgotten nor taken for granted by parents who want happy and healthy kids.
Here, we are going to talk about why you should try your best to surround your kids with green spaces, whether it’s a garden in the backyard or a trek through a mountain.
1. It teaches them responsibility.
There’s no easier way to teach kids about the cycle of life than by letting them play in the dirt and care for plants. By allowing them to experiment with seeds and run around flowerbeds, they will understand that there are consequences to their actions. Being in green spaces will help teach kids responsibility and mindfulness when it comes to their decisions, as they will be eager to grow and protect their own tiny part of the garden.
2. It makes them smarter.
When your children are exploring the great outdoors, there’s an endless source of stimuli they can learn from. With the grass beneath their feet and the insects hidden behind the leaves, green spaces can tap into their curiosity and creativity. One study  suggests that exposure to nature benefits the brain and supports spatial working memory, which is strongly correlated to academic achievement.
3. It’s easier to bond with friends and family.
Spending time outdoors is a great opportunity for your kids to learn to socialize, play, and explore. Alia Chloe  points out how you can even use time outdoors as exercise for the whole family. Even your little ones can join in to really complete the bonding experience, as they can benefit from social cues they observe from older kids and adults.
Your toddler can still reap these benefits during much-needed rest periods in a comfortable stroller. In fact, a study described in the New York Times  found that bonding between a parent and their child in a stroller is crucial to the development of the child's vocabulary. Looking up from the stroller to mom or dad is a unique sensory experience that has a positive impact on both parties. Thankfully, contemporary strollers are built with the option for your child to face towards you, whatever the environment. A feature on the best prams for off-road adventures published on iCandy notes how the Peach All Terrain is a useful stroller that has seats that can be turned to face you, allowing you and your child to interact while exploring the great outdoors. Some of its features include large air tires that can deal with rough terrain and incredible foldability.
4. It improves their mental health.
When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, a common solution is to walk around and take a breath of fresh air, which can instantly benefit your mental state — and the same is true for kids. In the short-term, being cooped up indoors can make children irritable and prone to tantrums or boredom. The long-term effects of immersing kids in nature are even more significant, with a study from Aarhus University  revealing that children who grow up surrounded by green spaces have up to 55% less risk of having mental disorders later in life. The researchers behind the study highlighted the need for greener cities that will help encourage mentally healthy children.
5. It makes them appreciate nature.
Landscapes and cultures are changing with the times, and most kids will not enjoy the same things their parents did in their childhood. As it becomes more and more difficult to look up from their screens, you have the crucial task of giving your children the chance to appreciate the world around them. By helping them appreciate nature as kids, they will undoubtedly learn to carry this love for the environment with them as they grow into responsible adults.
 Flouri, E., Papachristou, E., & Midouhas, E. (2019). The role of neighbourhood greenspace in children's spatial working memory. British journal of educational psychology, 89(2), 359-373.