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Let the Children Play! - Why Your Children Should Be Playing Outside This Summer

18/08/2015 16:30 BST | Updated 17/08/2016 10:59 BST

You only need to look on social-media during the summer-holidays to find parents up and down the country looking for free fun days-out and that magical formula to entice their kids away from their consoles and in to the great outdoors.

Getting children out of the house in force can be a real task. Summer though, is the ideal time to get out and about with children. Here are a few reasons why it's totally worth it the hassle...

Giving them adventure

Now this is a difficult topic. Every parent has their own views on what age and where their children should be allowed to play outside with their friends. In our own childhoods we were often allowed to roam the area, but these days we're more careful.

A 2008 study by Play England found that half of all children have been stopped from climbing trees, while one in five have been prevented from having a good old fashioned game of conkers. Health and Safety is vital for young children and you can understand why so many people are so wary of letting young children go too far away from home.

However, we don't want to wrap them in cotton wool too much! Outdoor play is a vital part of growing up and all part of the adventure of childhood. Organisations like the National Trust are trying to encourage children to challenge themselves with 50 outdoor adventures before they're 11 and 3/4s. You can tick them off with your kids at their website. I'll certainly be trying these out once mine are a bit older!

The great British countryside is right on our doorstep.

One of the upsides of living in such a small country is that we're never too far away from a fantastic piece of the British countryside. The country can be such an engaging place to let your children play and learn so we should feel lucky to have it so conveniently close to most of us. With more people choosing to holiday in the UK these days it seems like people are beginning to rediscover the magic of our rural areas. For those who maybe can't make it out to 'the sticks' then there are great alternatives around our major cities. In fact, half of the country's population lives within five miles of one of the countries many canals and waterways. Canal & River Trust, the charity that looks and after are offering parent's a fantastic guide to help them fill their days down by the water which you can sign up to online.

The sun is good for you (in moderation!)

It can be easy to scaremonger about the sun. As parents we obviously have to be careful about how much sun we expose our children to and to make sure we take proper precautions. There have been a few stories in the news recently about some extreme cases of sunburn with children so it isn't something to be trivialised. Make sure children are covered up with at least SPF 15 sun lotion that's effective against both UVA and UVB rays. However we shouldn't forget the benefits it has too!

Sunlight tops up our children's dose of Vitamin D which helps with their growing body's absorption of calcium which helps their bones grow strong. Spending time outdoors with natural sunlight is also vital to healthy sleep patterns, and we all know how important they are with children. Spending time indoors watching television is ok, but the unnatural light from screens can have a detrimental effect upon your body clock, especially late at night.

So, when you're feeling worn out on a sunny day, make the effort to get outside to add a little bit of adventure for you and the kids. And, let's face it; make the most of sun while we still have it!