In a world filled with iPads, Nintendos and Xboxs, outdoor play equipment like climbing frames and swingsets can sometimes be overlooked. The National Wildlife Federation has released a new parent guide advising parents that in fact outdoor play can enhance children’s sleep.
The report claims that children in the U.S spend on average 7 hours and 38 mins a day looking at electronic entertainment. Some parents may be questioning why their children are losing between 10-14 hours sleep a week, and NWF suggests it could be their choice of toys.
Exposure to natural daylight has an effect on our internal body clock so the time children spend on their climbing frame or swingset could help prepare them for a better and earlier night’s sleep. It also works to elevate moods and keep children alert during the day.
The NWF also explain that nature has a calming effect on children and often acts as a place to escape to from the various stresses and pressures of their life. Research has also shown that time spent outdoors can help those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder concentrate for longer.
Being outdoors encourages exercise, and outdoor play equipment such as climbing frames means children are running, jumping, climbing, sliding, swinging, all of which help to improve their strength and flexibility. All the while the body is producing the happy hormones endorphins, enhancing their sense of well-being and putting their mind at rest before bed time.
As if you needed any more reasons to invest in outdoor play what could be better than enhancing children’s sleep? Here is a little guideline of how much sleep your children should be getting.