Being physical helps children’s muscle development and promotes skills, such as the hand-eye co-ordination skill of catching and kicking a ball
We know it’s important for kids to play outside. TV news often runs reports about studies that show that too much screen time, and time spent sitting indoors, can be detrimental.
Why should kids play outdoors?
- Children are able to explore a less-familiar environment, which engages their natural curiosity and gives them experience in facing new situations.
- Self-reliance is boosted, as the use of play equipment allows kids to rejoice in gaining a new skill (‘I did it’!). This also enforces confidence for tackling the next physical skill that comes their way. Taking risks is scary – for children and often, for their parents, too! – but it’s necessary for kids to take a manageable risk to learn how to deal with bigger ones later in life.
- Playing outside gives kids the chance to use their creativity. ‘Pretend’ play, where kids make up their own rules and interact with each other and the environment, provides learning and social opportunities when kids are not even aware of the lesson!
In spring and summer especially, it’s essential that children are protected from excess sun. Some sun is desirable for the Vitamin D content, but only out of the peak sun hours of 10am to 4pm (the Healthify website from He Puna Waiora has information on safe sun exposure for Vitamin D absorption).
Protect little people!
Arthur is wearing a Banz Bucket Sunhat in ‘Pale Bue’ and JBanz Flyerz sunglasses in ‘Tortoiseshell’
- Using UV-blocking clothing and sunhats – at Banz Carewear our ranges of sunhats meet the UPF50+ standard, as the fabrics meet the highest sun-blocking standards. Find them here. You’ll find Banz Carewear UV-blocking swim and sunwear pieces on special here.
- Looking after their eyes with sunglasses. If it’s bright enough for you to be wearing sunglasses, so should your kids! All Banz Carewear sunglasses meet international standards for safety and suitability for little ones – we were the first to style sunglasses with a stay-put headband for children – beware imitations! Check out the ranges for babies through to 10 years here.
- Using a sunscreen that suits your family. There seem to be as many formulations, using different ingredients, as there are families! Choose the one that suits you best, as families all have different priorities. Consumer New Zealand’s 2022 results for sunscreen testing can be found here.
- Keeping them in the shade. Large sun umbrellas and shade sails at home are brilliant for this. More playgrounds are being equipped with shade sails, although there is still a very long way to go in persuading councils that this is necessary.
Please note: it’s recommended that babies under the age of six months are kept out the sun as much as is practically possible. The tips above are also ideal for babies outdoors.
Being outdoors doesn’t have to mean boisterous play. It’s lovely to read a book to your children outside – or take your ‘indoor’ toys outside – it will add a whole new dimension to their play!