Getting Kids Outdoors: Why It Really Matters
Did you know that each year more than 11 million children and adults attend camp in the U.S.? Why, in 2011, a staggering 42.5 million Americans actually went camping, many of whom were actually children. What’s more, studies show that about 25% of camping participants are ages 17 and younger, and about 15% are ages 6 to 12. In other words, one in four campers are younger than 18-years-old.
The point here is that although it may not seem like children and teens have all that much of an interest in family camping, research shows that kids love it, and — best of all — camping is great for kids.
First of all, it teaches kids to love nature. The more time they spend in the outdoors, the more they’ll learn to appreciate it, which is more important than you may realize. One recent study suggested that a lack of exposure to nature is linked to conditions such as obesity, attention disorders, and depression. In other words, fun family vacations spent adventuring outdoors can actually make your family healthier.
Secondly, packing up the car and taking the kids to your area’s family campgrounds can give kids some much needed rest and relaxation. School, sports, extracurricular activities, social events, and more can really take it out of a kid. The previously mentioned study not only found that being separated from nature can have negative effects, but that going on family camping vacations can help relieve stress, mentally restore themselves, and improve mood.
Thirdly, it’s just plain fun. It doesn’t matter how you may prefer to camp. Maybe you like to head to out-of-the-way, rustic, family campsites to really rough it. Maybe you’d rather find a family campgrounds with such attractions as a water park or air conditioning. Either way, camping can help boost serotonin levels — the “feel good” hormones, because of all the sunlight and physical activity.
There are tons of family campgrounds near you, and plenty of opportunities to get away from it all. What more could you possibly be waiting for?