Too often in today’s society, kids spend the majority of their time indoors playing video games or watching TV. When a child has a safe, fun place to play outdoors, it is beneficial to them in many ways to get outside and burn some energy off. There are many benefits to making sure that your kids get outside to play at least once a day.
Studies have shown that playing outside:
- Increases Creativity
- Increases Energy levels
- They do better in school
- Gives them plenty of natural Vitamin D from the sun (watch out for burns)
- Prevents childhood obesity
- Reduces behavioral problems
- Encourages an interest in sports when they are older
- Keeps them from becoming lazy
There are other pluses to having the children playing outside every day, but even just the ones we listed above are reason enough. Children that play outside are happier and that happiness transfers to other parts of their lives.
In the summertime, grass grows long, bushes and trees get their leaves and that provides a lot of places for wildlife and insects of various kinds to hide. When your children are out in the yard, they don’t always know to watch out for these places and things can happen accidentally.
If you live in a more rural area, all kinds of wildlife can take up residence in long grasses, under bushes and even under outdoor furniture you have around your home. Ensuring that your yard is kept up reduces the risk of your child having unwanted encounters with snakes, scorpions, spiders, rats and other outdoor wildlife.
One way of keeping your yard safe is to use a string trimmer to keep the areas of your yard trimmed down so there is no place for animals to get in the long grass and hide. Mowing is a necessity as well, but most mowers can’t get to the hard to reach, out of the way places the way a string trimmer can. If you want to find the best weed eater, visit bestweedeaters.com, b/c this resource provide great guides and free advices.
Places to concentrate on when you are trimming your yard are:
- Around porches and decks
- Around fence posts
- Around any stationary outdoor furniture
- An outdoor swing set or play house
- Around wood piles (even with the grass trimmed, children should not play around woodpiles as they are popular home choices for snakes)
- Along the fence line
- Around man made ponds and lakes
- Underneath the bushes
Anywhere that you notice tall grasses or weeds that are getting long are good places to keep trimmed. Doing this not only improves the look of your yard, it ensures that there are fewer places for potentially harmful animals to hide. Wildlife love to find out of the way places to sun themselves and build homes and it’s easy for a child to innocently encounter them during regular play. By having the grasses around these areas cut down close to the ground, animals are going to find other less visible places to hide.
You can include your children in the process of getting the yard cleaned up and safe to play in. They can be great helpers in picking up any garbage that has blown into the yard, taking the trash cans to the road when it’s time, picking up sticks and rocks before mowing, and moving plants and items out of the way so you can mow or trim around them.
It’s important to note here that children and outdoor power tools don’t make a good combination. Your kids should wait well out of the way of whoever is trimming and mowing your yard. String trimmers sound cool, look cool and may appear to be something to play with, but a child can get injured from getting too close to one that is running. They are wonderful tools for keeping the yard child friendly, but they are for adult use only.
Older teens are good candidates for learning to mow, and it can teach them responsibility, but the safety measures involved in any kind of yard work needs to be taught first and when they are first getting started they should never be without adult supervision. If your teens are 17 or older and are extremely responsible and careful, they can also learn to operate a string trimmer as well. They should wear goggles and gloves and proper footwear for doing yard work and an adult should be there with them at all times.
There are many string trimmers that are lightweight and that would be good for an older teen to learn on, but the ability of your child is something you will need to take into consideration. If there is any question as to them following directions, it is better and safer for all involved to have them remain out of the way while the yard work is being done. They can always rake and pick up trimmings after you’re done.
Playing outdoors used to be the common thing to do, especially on a warm summer night. Cookouts, playing hide and seek and other fun activities were ways that families spent time together and talked about their days. There are still tons of things families can do to spend time together outdoors. It can be a great way to unwind after a long week and it’ll help keep the whole family healthier too.
So the next time you go outside to get your yard in shape, remember that your kids can help in safe ways and you can use the time to teach them about wildlife safety, tool safety and enjoy time with them away from the distractions of video games and other electronics.