How Playhouses Encourage Outdoor Play
Posted: April 18, 2016
Categories: Product Advice
Encourage Your Child to Play Outdoors
Children are spending less and less time outdoors – and it’s having an impact on their development, well-being, and mental health. A recent study revealed that 74 percent of children spend less time outside than prison inmates. Although prisoners get at least one hour a day in the open air, the survey of parents found that nearly three-quarters of 5-12-year-olds were inside almost all the time, playing on screens.
Research for Persil’s Dirt Is Good campaign shows that those children spending all their time inside are not learning essential skills. They aren’t exploring parks or gardens, running around in open spaces or finding out how plants grow. Curiosity about the natural world around them stimulates questions and learning. Playing is a vital part of growing up because children learn a great deal from trial and error.
Children need to be exposed to dirt to build up their immune systems. Sunlight stimulates children’s bodies to produce Vitamin D and even eyesight can be affected without the opportunity to look into the distance. The health impact of being outside is tremendous.
How Can a Playhouse Help?
Just encouraging or ordering children to go outside isn’t enough – in a world of on screen entertainment and video games where all the imaginative elements are pre-created, many children aren't as capable of creating their own worlds to play in. Having a focus for their outdoor play is vital and a playhouse is a perfect way of achieving this.
A children’s playhouse in the back garden is a place for children to call their own: a special child-only, adult-free bolthole which they can control. This feeling of ownership is really important. Encourage your child to look after their playhouse, fostering a sense of responbility.
A Playhouse provokes the imagination. It can become a fortress, a café, a shop, a log cabin or a rebel base – the playhouse is a flexible thing that children’s imaginations can mould to whatever purpose they want.
Children can imagine being a parent, a chef, a soldier, a business owner and so much more. The simple task of playing house - with the addition of a play oven, stuffed toys and little brooms - encourages children to take on roles, experiment with social constructs and explore what they know about the world.
The playhouse is an environment where you get let you children get messy and try out those activities that might otherwise stain the carpet or ruin the table. Finger painting, mud pies, play dough - all these can happily happen at a table or easel set up in the playhouse.
You can even spark a love of gardening with a garden playhouse. With special tools for kids, and a raised bed nearby, children can plant and tend their own vegetable patch or scented flower garden, digging in the dirt, giving their immune system a workout. They can learn about the growing process and what it takes to nuture a growing specimen.
8x8 Rowlinson Hideaway Playhouse
All Weather Fun
A playhouses isn't just for sunny days. Even when it's raining outside, throw on their wellies and play in puddles - sheltering in the playhouse from the heaviest showers. A few bean bags, cosy blankets and a pile of books results in the best reading nook.
What are you waiting for?
The case for encouraging children to spend more time outside is clear: there substantial benefits to development and well-being. Playhouses are a great way for children to have fun, stay fit, explore the world and stimulate their imagination. Whether it’s small or large, ornate or simple, a playhouse can become a big part of childhood and the whole family will gain magical memories.