Welcome to our blog posts covering information such as why let your kids get messy, Why outdoor exploration is a great learning experience, & much more!

Baby craling down on the farm

Why Outdoor Exploration Is A Great Learning Experience

The digital world is upon us and expanding by the day. This is…
crawling child in mud

Why You Should Let Your Kids Engage In Messy Play

Did you know that your kids benefit from getting grubby? Messy…

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Baby craling down on the farm

Why Outdoor Exploration Is A Great Learning Experience

The digital world is upon us and expanding by the day. This is shaping our society and our children in so many different ways. While technology and cartoons on the telly do have their benefits from time to time, it is still important for our kids to head outdoors and experience the freedom of unstructured play amongst nature.

The figures are eye-opening: on average, kids in America spend five to eight hours every day in front of a digital screen. [https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32067158] . A study found that three-quarters of children in the UK spend less time outside than prison inmates. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/25/three-quarters-of-uk-children-spend-less-time-outdoors-than-prison-inmates-survey]

These behaviours are not limited to the northern hemisphere. The same technology obsession is taking place all over the world.

We need to do something about it!

Outdoor play is a fantastic exploration for kids. It provides mental, physical and emotional stimulation that can’t be replicated indoors.

Here are some reasons why you should encourage your children to go on adventures to discover the wonders of the great outdoors.

Physical Activity And Development

Though we all know kids can and do run around inside, there will always be restrictions on how physical and creative they can get. Studies show that active kids are more likely to become active adults’, combating illnesses like obesity and promoting good health and fitness.

Outdoor play also provides a huge variety of movement – from tree climbing and jumping rope to doing cartwheels and crawling through long grass. This range of exercise and movement helps develop coordination, balance, flexibility and muscle strength.

Social Skills

Children have fantastic imaginations and an endless ability to play and create. The outdoor world is full of opportunities to play together in an unstructured way. While many indoor pursuits are solitary or too organised, outdoor group play allows kids to interact with their peers and learn essential social skills in the process.

How many times have you been to the playground, swimming pool or park and your children have started playing with new “friends” they have met on the spot? That kind of social building is pretty unlikely to happen between the four walls of your house.

Ignite Curiosity And Stimulate The Senses

Encourage your child’s sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around them by heading outside and using all their senses. As nature is continually changing, so are the scents, noises, sights, and textures around them. Why do the leaves change colour or fall from the trees? How do caterpillars become butterflies? What are clouds?

While the “why” stage of a child’s learning can be tiring for parents, it is a precious opportunity to impart knowledge about the world – or learn together. After all, who hasn’t’ had to Google an answer on the go when your wee one asks a particularly sticky question?

Promote Good Health

Vitamin D is essential for building healthy bones, lifting moods, and promoting healthy sleep patterns. Heading outside is the only way to get this essential nutrient. In summer and winter, half an hour in the sun gives us our daily requirement.

While parents may be reluctant to let kids head out into the cold wintery weather for fear of colds and flu, it’s actually indoors where most of the nasty germs and bacteria are hiding. Recycled air in the house is a ripe breeding ground for bacteria, so heading outdoors to play in puddles or make snowmen in the fresh air is much healthier.

Soothe And Balance Moods

Research has proven that spending time in nature increases the level of serotonin in our bodies, calming our nerves and improving our mood. This applies to people of all ages. Playing and learning outside can be a calming and relaxing experience for children, reducing stress.

And it doesn’t take much time at all for this effect to take place. A 15-min run around after preschool, hitting the playground on the way home, or even a game of catch in the backyard can be all you need to see results.

Remember: The Right Equipment

Let’s face it, you don’t need much equipment to enjoy the great outdoors. There are many ways you can make your own fun with nature’s toys – sticks, long grass, rocks, sea shells and so many other things make great playing accessories.

But, you do want to be weary of the weather. Even the middle of summer can produce a rainy day, and you don’t want to be stuck inside because of it. So, make sure you have a great raincoat in your cupboard for the days when the weather is less than ideal. It will allow you to get out and enjoy the outdoors without the worry of getting cold and wet.

Here at Little Ducks we have some great gear to keep little ones dry – ranging from raincoats, to overpants and even overalls. No matter the weather, we have you covered. Check out the range now so that you can adventure in any weather.

Regardless of the weather, giving your kids free rein to head outside and discover the world is a precious learning experience that helps them grow into balanced, healthy adults.

crawling child in mud

Why You Should Let Your Kids Engage In Messy Play

Did you know that your kids benefit from getting grubby? Messy play is not only fun for little ones, it’s also an essential part of building strong immune systems, relating to the world, and building skills such as coordination, creativity, and problem solving.

With modern entertainment for kids defaulting to a screen, we are changing the way children interact with the world. Because of that we are seeing an increase in problems such as obesity and Vitamin D deficiency.

But getting messy can change all of that!

It is time to tuck the iPads and tablets away and venture with your children into the big, wide, wonderful world. And if it’s raining? All the better!

Throw on some waterproof gear and make a beeline outside for some serious puddle jumping.

Here’s why you should let your kids get messy…

It Boosts Developing Immune Systems

While good hygiene is essential, it is not the same thing as staying clean. Practising good hygiene means washing little hands after going to the toilet and before eating, and also taking care not to spread illness when sick.

Contrary to the belief of many parents, it’s actually a good thing to expose developing immune systems to a wide variety of pathogens. These pathogens are then remembered and catalogued by the body, helping to build a strong immune system.

Dirt Is Good For Your Child!

Soil and mud contain a diverse array of microbes that are good for the health of your child. Some recent research has even shown that without these microbes, a child may be more prone to asthma, allergies, diabetes and other long term health problems.

So, adventure walks, making mud pies and jumping in the puddles are great ways to expose your kids to fun, activity and good old fashioned grub!

Messy Play Enhances Creativity

Because kids tend to spend far more time indoors than they did in previous generations, they often don’t have many opportunities to be creative. This can be particularly true if they are attached to televisions, iPads or gaming systems.

The beauty of messy play is that there is no desired end result! The purpose is to just enjoy the sights, smells and sensations involved. Your child is free to explore their imagination and think outside the box.

Because there’s no right or wrong way to play, they feel confident and have a sense of control. These simple factors should not be underestimated in their ability to build a sense of self-esteem and decision making skills in your kids.

Understanding And Appreciating Nature

Although messy play can occur indoors, it is much better to head out into nature (less chance of tracking the chaos through your house!)

Nothing beats learning by direct experience. As your child explores their natural environment during all seasons, they learn about snow, rain, sun, flowers, insects, animals and plants and develop a sense of curiosity about the world around them.

As Nana used to say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices! So, a great waterproof raincoat and overpants can serve your children well in any season. You can check out our range in store now.

Best Messy Play Activities To Try

Slimy play – give your children some goopy slime to go wild with. It is easy to make from household ingredients and provides hours of sensory fun for all ages. Try this recipe here.

Mudpies – this is an oldie but a goodie which I’m sure we all remember from our childhoods! All you need is soil, water, and some containers. Let your child’s imagination run wild as they “bake” delicious mud pies, cakes and smoothies, courtesy of mother nature.

Finger Painting – who needs brushes when you have fingers? Create some amazing works of art with a bit of paint and paper. You can even make non toxic paint at home with ½ cup flour, ½ cup salt, ½ cup water and a few drops of food colouring.

 

Getting messy can be great fun for kids. But if you are heading out into nature, it pays to be prepared with good waterproof clothing – especially in the colder months. Here at Little Ducks we stock high quality waterproof clothing for children under 6, check out our range here.

Baby craling down on the farm

Why Outdoor Exploration Is A Great Learning Experience

The digital world is upon us and expanding by the day. This is shaping our society and our children in so many different ways. While technology and cartoons on the telly do have their benefits from time to time, it is still important for our kids to head outdoors and experience the freedom of unstructured play amongst nature.

The figures are eye-opening: on average, kids in America spend five to eight hours every day in front of a digital screen. [https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-32067158] . A study found that three-quarters of children in the UK spend less time outside than prison inmates. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/25/three-quarters-of-uk-children-spend-less-time-outdoors-than-prison-inmates-survey]

These behaviours are not limited to the northern hemisphere. The same technology obsession is taking place all over the world.

We need to do something about it!

Outdoor play is a fantastic exploration for kids. It provides mental, physical and emotional stimulation that can’t be replicated indoors.

Here are some reasons why you should encourage your children to go on adventures to discover the wonders of the great outdoors.

Physical Activity And Development

Though we all know kids can and do run around inside, there will always be restrictions on how physical and creative they can get. Studies show that active kids are more likely to become active adults’, combating illnesses like obesity and promoting good health and fitness.

Outdoor play also provides a huge variety of movement – from tree climbing and jumping rope to doing cartwheels and crawling through long grass. This range of exercise and movement helps develop coordination, balance, flexibility and muscle strength.

Social Skills

Children have fantastic imaginations and an endless ability to play and create. The outdoor world is full of opportunities to play together in an unstructured way. While many indoor pursuits are solitary or too organised, outdoor group play allows kids to interact with their peers and learn essential social skills in the process.

How many times have you been to the playground, swimming pool or park and your children have started playing with new “friends” they have met on the spot? That kind of social building is pretty unlikely to happen between the four walls of your house.

Ignite Curiosity And Stimulate The Senses

Encourage your child’s sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around them by heading outside and using all their senses. As nature is continually changing, so are the scents, noises, sights, and textures around them. Why do the leaves change colour or fall from the trees? How do caterpillars become butterflies? What are clouds?

While the “why” stage of a child’s learning can be tiring for parents, it is a precious opportunity to impart knowledge about the world – or learn together. After all, who hasn’t’ had to Google an answer on the go when your wee one asks a particularly sticky question?

Promote Good Health

Vitamin D is essential for building healthy bones, lifting moods, and promoting healthy sleep patterns. Heading outside is the only way to get this essential nutrient. In summer and winter, half an hour in the sun gives us our daily requirement.

While parents may be reluctant to let kids head out into the cold wintery weather for fear of colds and flu, it’s actually indoors where most of the nasty germs and bacteria are hiding. Recycled air in the house is a ripe breeding ground for bacteria, so heading outdoors to play in puddles or make snowmen in the fresh air is much healthier.

Soothe And Balance Moods

Research has proven that spending time in nature increases the level of serotonin in our bodies, calming our nerves and improving our mood. This applies to people of all ages. Playing and learning outside can be a calming and relaxing experience for children, reducing stress.

And it doesn’t take much time at all for this effect to take place. A 15-min run around after preschool, hitting the playground on the way home, or even a game of catch in the backyard can be all you need to see results.

Remember: The Right Equipment

Let’s face it, you don’t need much equipment to enjoy the great outdoors. There are many ways you can make your own fun with nature’s toys – sticks, long grass, rocks, sea shells and so many other things make great playing accessories.

But, you do want to be weary of the weather. Even the middle of summer can produce a rainy day, and you don’t want to be stuck inside because of it. So, make sure you have a great raincoat in your cupboard for the days when the weather is less than ideal. It will allow you to get out and enjoy the outdoors without the worry of getting cold and wet.

Here at Little Ducks we have some great gear to keep little ones dry – ranging from raincoats, to overpants and even overalls. No matter the weather, we have you covered. Check out the range now so that you can adventure in any weather.

Regardless of the weather, giving your kids free rein to head outside and discover the world is a precious learning experience that helps them grow into balanced, healthy adults.

crawling child in mud

Why You Should Let Your Kids Engage In Messy Play

Did you know that your kids benefit from getting grubby? Messy play is not only fun for little ones, it’s also an essential part of building strong immune systems, relating to the world, and building skills such as coordination, creativity, and problem solving.

With modern entertainment for kids defaulting to a screen, we are changing the way children interact with the world. Because of that we are seeing an increase in problems such as obesity and Vitamin D deficiency.

But getting messy can change all of that!

It is time to tuck the iPads and tablets away and venture with your children into the big, wide, wonderful world. And if it’s raining? All the better!

Throw on some waterproof gear and make a beeline outside for some serious puddle jumping.

Here’s why you should let your kids get messy…

It Boosts Developing Immune Systems

While good hygiene is essential, it is not the same thing as staying clean. Practising good hygiene means washing little hands after going to the toilet and before eating, and also taking care not to spread illness when sick.

Contrary to the belief of many parents, it’s actually a good thing to expose developing immune systems to a wide variety of pathogens. These pathogens are then remembered and catalogued by the body, helping to build a strong immune system.

Dirt Is Good For Your Child!

Soil and mud contain a diverse array of microbes that are good for the health of your child. Some recent research has even shown that without these microbes, a child may be more prone to asthma, allergies, diabetes and other long term health problems.

So, adventure walks, making mud pies and jumping in the puddles are great ways to expose your kids to fun, activity and good old fashioned grub!

Messy Play Enhances Creativity

Because kids tend to spend far more time indoors than they did in previous generations, they often don’t have many opportunities to be creative. This can be particularly true if they are attached to televisions, iPads or gaming systems.

The beauty of messy play is that there is no desired end result! The purpose is to just enjoy the sights, smells and sensations involved. Your child is free to explore their imagination and think outside the box.

Because there’s no right or wrong way to play, they feel confident and have a sense of control. These simple factors should not be underestimated in their ability to build a sense of self-esteem and decision making skills in your kids.

Understanding And Appreciating Nature

Although messy play can occur indoors, it is much better to head out into nature (less chance of tracking the chaos through your house!)

Nothing beats learning by direct experience. As your child explores their natural environment during all seasons, they learn about snow, rain, sun, flowers, insects, animals and plants and develop a sense of curiosity about the world around them.

As Nana used to say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices! So, a great waterproof raincoat and overpants can serve your children well in any season. You can check out our range in store now.

Best Messy Play Activities To Try

Slimy play – give your children some goopy slime to go wild with. It is easy to make from household ingredients and provides hours of sensory fun for all ages. Try this recipe here.

Mudpies – this is an oldie but a goodie which I’m sure we all remember from our childhoods! All you need is soil, water, and some containers. Let your child’s imagination run wild as they “bake” delicious mud pies, cakes and smoothies, courtesy of mother nature.

Finger Painting – who needs brushes when you have fingers? Create some amazing works of art with a bit of paint and paper. You can even make non toxic paint at home with ½ cup flour, ½ cup salt, ½ cup water and a few drops of food colouring.

 

Getting messy can be great fun for kids. But if you are heading out into nature, it pays to be prepared with good waterproof clothing – especially in the colder months. Here at Little Ducks we stock high quality waterproof clothing for children under 6, check out our range here.