Did you know that on top of getting a beautiful gallery of family photos that will make your heart do a little happy dance, there are also some lovely hidden benefits to getting outdoors as a family and spending that time together? Let me tell you all about them!
Outside time is crucial for children’s wellbeing
There are plenty of great resources on the web telling us about why we should get our kids outdoors more, and it feels increasingly hard to do in a screen-centric world. I look at my son and his childhood does feel different to mine did. I feel like I was allowed to be a lot more free-range. Perhaps it wasn’t the case, but I feel I was thrown out the back door and almost told to be back for dinner.
Statistically the world is no more dangerous now. But the world feels bigger and scarier and I think that’s watching everything through the lens of being a parent!
But if there is one simple thing you can do to improve your child’s chance of life-long health and success, it is definitely to get them outdoors more. So why not consider having your next family photoshoot outdoors?
Children need lots of sunshine
Sun helps us humans create Vitamin D which is vital for so many processes in our body from bone growth to healthy function of our immune system. Plus, it’s so important for improved mode and sleep.
If you’re anything like me, your mood plummets when November rolls round and feel immediately better when spring is back. That’s the lack of sunshine!
Get yourself into the rays and let me capture you soaking up the sunshine!
Exercise is so important for growing children
Children need an hour of active time per day between 5-18 years according to the British Nutrition Foundation. In 2018, only 1 in 6 did the recommended amount of physical movement a day and I’m sure those figures are worsening as our screen dependence and busy schedules increase.
It’s near impossible to stop kids tearing about during a family photoshoot which I love! Other adventures that I’m often capturing are tree climbing, sibling races, puddling jumping. There is no adventure too small when you’re a kid…
Outdoor time breeds imagination
Children need unstructured time to grow their creativity and imagination. These skills need learning and practice as much as any other. They need time with other kids to live in their imaginary worlds and make up games (that if we’re being honest, most of us parents find boring after a while!). And boredom is great for children to develop this imaginary play. They simply don’t get this if they are watching TV full time.
One family I photographed had two adorable girls that spent their entire shoot searching for Stick Man in the woods and another family had kids that build a whole den with sticks. I think kids are incredible with their imaginations – give me some of that please!
It creates appreciation of the incredible world around us
We live in the most incredible world. I’ve always loved travel because I love marvelling at the beauty around me and I hate the thought that I would deprive my son the chance to do the same.
Kids should be given the opportunity to explore the world they live in, see how incredible their planet is and enjoy their environment with the wide-eyed wonder that only kids can muster! Digging in sand, discovering bugs, building things with sticks; all these things can be done in nature so easily and they grow your appreciation for the world around us.
I loved it when I travelled to Portugal with this gorgeous family to capture their travels and photograph a day in their holiday life. Ticked every box; outdoor time, sunshine, the world around us!
The best bit is, if you let your kid enjoy the great outdoors, you might start enjoying it more yourself.
Try these things next time you go somewhere and see how you get on:
- Take a paddle in a stream
- Dig in some soil and see what you unearth
- Build a sandcastle
- Climb a hill and see what you spot then roll down it
- See how many different wild flowers you spot
- Spot as many animals as you can
- Try to listen out for lots of birds
The world is incredible. Let’s get our families out into it!
If you would like some photos while you’re out adventuring, I’d be delighted to help you capture your family. Check out some of the other families I’ve helped capture out and about on location in St Albans or further afield. Get in touch if that takes your fancy!