Mental Health

Parenting

Mandy Kloppers

Kid-Friendly Outdoor Activities Proven To Boost Mental Health

A recent study has found that children from poorer backgrounds were more likely to find the lockdowns tougher on their mental health because they had less contact with open green spaces than their richer peers.

Wellness and CBD experts at Eden’s Gate have analysed how spending time in green spaces can benefit your mental and physical health, and using Google Search Data, found the top 10 outdoor activities children can do to reap the benefits.

Exercising outdoors, growing your own food and plants and being around animals can have lots of positive effects on your health. Including:

  • Improving your mood
  • Reducing feelings of stress and anger
  • Improving your physical health
  • Improving your confidence and self-esteem
  • Helping you make new connections

Top ten child-friendly outdoor activities:

Outdoor Activity  Search Volume 
Local parks 24,000
Scavenger hunts 12,100
Stargaze 12,100
Fly a kite 2,400
Ride a bike 1,300
Take a hike 1,000
Plant a vegetable garden 590
Outdoor workout 480
Have a picnic 90
Watch the sunrise 70

Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health issues which include anxiety as well as depression. Research into ecotherapy has shown it can help with some cases of depression due to combining physical activity and social contact with being outside in nature.

Another mental health issue that spending time outside can help combat is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is a type of depression that affects people during particular seasons of the year and some people find learning more about nature has helped them.

Some top tips on how to enjoy nature: 

Grow or pick your own fruit and vegetables 

  • If you have limited garden space you can plant salad or herbs in a window box or even a plant pot on the kitchen window sill
  • Apply to share an allotment or look for community gardens local to you to grow food and plants with others
  • Local farms and orchards often let you pick your own fruit which you buy which is a super fun activity for younger children

Bring nature inside

  • Buy some pretty potted flowers and plants to decorate your home with
  • Collect natural materials such as feathers, shells, rocks, tree bark to also decorate your home
  • Try to find a comfortable place to sit by a window so you can look out onto nature and have natural light coming into your home
  • Have paintings and photographs of your favourite wildlife and nature spots around your home

Do activities outside

  • Take a walk in a local park
  • If you enjoy writing, keeping a journal, playing music try doing your favorite hobbies outside
  • Have a picnic in a local park or simple in your garden this is a great activity for younger children
  • Try exercising outside also, running or cycling around your local area and parks helps keep you physically fit and connects you to nature

Help the environment 

  • Go on a litter picking walk with a local group or even gather round family and friends
  • Volunteer to help with a conservation project local to you
  • Build a animal habitat, for example, build a hedgehog house

Research commissioned by:  https://edensgate.co.uk

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash