Why You Should Take Your Children Camping
Over the last few years there have been a large number of studies that have highlighted the fact that children now spend a shorter amount of time outdoors and are less connected to the natural world. In contrast, research has also highlighted the many benefits that spending time outdoors in a natural environment can provide for kids.
Camping helps children to develop a sense of adventure
Going camping, even if it’s just for one night is fun. A new environment, unfamiliar sights and sounds, other kids to meet and play with, a tent to help put up and sleeping under the stars all make for a fun-filled adventure.
A sense of adventure is one of the qualities that ensures a life remains open and full of possibilities; promoting the positive outlook that underpins good mental health.
Camping builds resilience Children rarely move out of their comfort zone these days
With more children spending time indoors than ever before, their environment, for many, is predictable, secure and closely monitored. Whilst stability is beneficial, spending time indoors and constantly stimulated won’t help a child to grow in confidence or develop resilience.
Working out where to pitch, helping to put up a tent, finding the campsite shop and being sent to pick up supplies, dealing with adversity (broken poles, forgotten tent pegs, bad weather), by comparison are all great ways of building resilience. When children learn that they can effectively deal with adversity, they become more robust and confident individuals.
Camping gives children the freedom to explore, boosting creativity
Having the freedom to play, explore and generally behave the way children should is one of the vital elements missing from modern life for many children. Parents rarely let their children out of their sight these days, preferring them to visit a friends house than giving them the freedom to play at the park unsupervised.
Family-friendly campsites provide a safe, and relatively secure environment for children to play and explore in, giving them a sense of freedom. This freedom, combined with a more natural environment is a great way to boost creativity; instead of relying on a tablet or smartphone for entertainment, children use their imagination to play games and entertain themselves; something they typically don’t need to do when they’re at home.
Camping brings children closer to nature
There is compelling evidence to support the claim that many children are now suffering from ‘nature deficit disorder‘, with many being unable to identify the most basic flora and fauna. According to a recent survey, only 1 in 3 children were able to identify a Magpie; but I’m willing to bet that all of them would be able to correctly identify the McDonalds or Facebook logo.
Spending time outdoors brings children closer to the natural world, and if they live in an urban environment, it is particularly important to ensure that a proportion of their free-time activities provide the chance to experience some of the wonder and beauty of nature.
Developing a love and respect of nature is much easier to do if children get to spend time outdoors, and camping is an excellent way to immerse children in the natural world.
So if you’ve never been, or if you are trying to find more ways of encouraging your children to spend time outdoors; why not lead by example and take them camping.