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The Benefits Of Outdoor Play For Your Child

Now that the sunny days are here at last it’s the perfect time to take advantage of the great outdoors with your little one. Children of all ages love playing outside and the great news is that being outside also has so many benefits for your child both physically and mentally. Child health experts recommend that you spend at least some time outside with your baby or toddler every day – even if it’s just for a quick run around the garden or a walk down to the shops. At Custard and Crumble we believe that outdoor play fires your little one’s imagination and we have a fabulous range of outdoor toys to help inspire both them and you. So in our blog today we’re going to look at why it’s so great to play in the open air. Sunshine is a fantastic source of vitamin D All of us need vitamin D which is essential to help with bone and skeletal health and sunshine is one of the best sources of vitamin D that there is. In the UK we get most of our vitamin D from the sun between March and September. In the autumn and winter it’s much harder to get enough sunlight so get out there and make the most of it while it’s here! Of course very young babies should be kept out of strong sunlight, and the NHS recommends that children should keep out of the sun between 11-3 but after these times it can be beneficial to have short periods of letting them get some sunshine on their skin.  Babies often enjoy sleeping outside too (and sleep better in the fresh air) so why not make the most of our portable Cream Moses Basket and carry baby into the garden with you so that you can both enjoy the warm weather. Nature provides a wonderful sensory environment When children are young learning is a totally sensory experience. They learn not only through sight but by touch, taste and smell. So where better to stimulate the senses than in the park or garden. Little ones will love hearing birdsong, smelling flowers and herbs or feeling the different textures of leaves, stones, feathers and bark. It’s a great opportunity for you to chat to them about nature and to spend time together bonding. Why not create a sensory mat for your baby to play on? Place a range of different outdoor objects on one of our super soft quilted floor mats. Let your baby touch, sniff and look at them to explore all of their different qualities. This is a lovely game that they will really enjoy. An opportunity for messy play – without getting a messy house If you have a baby or toddler you know that they just LOVE getting messy but we know that you might not enjoy getting your house messy quite as much! That’s why getting outside is a great chance to enjoy messy play without worrying about tidying up. All children love making mud pies, jumping in piles of leaves or splashing in puddles. Messy play helps them to learn and make sense of the world around them so whatever the weather get out there and enjoy making a mess. Playing outdoors fires the imagination Being in the great outdoors gives children the chance to get creative with toys and games that they might not have room for inside. Children’s imaginations can take them everywhere and our fabulous range of creative playhouses lets them fly to the moon in a spaceship, visit a fairytale cottage or go back in time to the wild west.  Children also appreciate the space to run around and getting the chance to exercise outside is really important for their health and wellbeing. Once your little one can walk you can play simple games in the park or garden such as hide and seek or tag. You could also get them racing around on one of our classic car ride on toys which is a surefire way to help them burn off any excess energy. So make the most of those lovely long summer days and enjoy the fresh air and health benefits that outside play can bring to both you and your little one!