According to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), camping is more than just good for the soul. The NWF reports that it increases imagination and cognitive focus, and leads to longer, healthier lives.
If your kids aren't part of the 6 percent of children who actually play outside, then it's even more important to reserve a campsite and plan a family camping trip. Here are four reasons why it just might be exactly what your family needs.
60 Minutes of Daily Free Play is Essential
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that just a minimal amount of daily, unstructured play was essential to the mental and physical health of children. While you may not be able to make this happen every day, a family camping trip is the perfect chance to do so.
- Bring bikes and let your children ride around the campground with friends or siblings. This unstructured free time will not only benefit their mind and body but also tucker them out before bedtime.
10 Percent of Parents Want to Teach Their Kids
In the 2012 American Camper Report, 10 percent of respondents said their motivation for camping was to teach their children about the outdoors. Immersing your family in the wilderness, with most electronic items left behind, is the best way to teach your kids the value of camping and being outside.
- Take a hike together and talk about what's around you. Turn it into a game with a nature-based scavenger hunt; include tree types, animals and basic plants. When your kids find the items, you can take the opportunity to teach them about it.