Kid-Friendly Outdoor Activities Proven to Boost Mental Health

News Release, (2021, October 21). Kid-Friendly Outdoor Activities Proven to Boost Mental Health. Psychreg on Environmental Psychology.

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Exercising outdoors, growing your 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, including anxiety and 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), a type of depression that affects people during particular seasons of the year. Some people find learning more about nature has helped them. 

Some top tips on how to enjoy nature: 

Grow or pick your fruit and vegetables 

  • You can plant salad or herbs in a window box or even a plant pot on the kitchen window sill if you have limited garden space. 
  • 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 fruit, which you buy, 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 also to decorate your home.
  • Try to find a comfortable place to sit by a window so you can look out into 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 favourite 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 around family and friends. 
  • Volunteer to help with a conservation project local to you. 
  • Build an animal habitat; for example, build a hedgehog house.

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