Spending time outdoors is the key to happier, healthier and more confident children, however, only one in five* of them regularly play outside, says leading youth charity YHA (England and Wales).
The charity says the opportunity to have adventures in the outdoors is vitally important to developing young people’s confidence, resilience and ambition for the future. Studies also show that five minutes of ‘green exercise’ can improve a child’s mental wellbeing**.
YHA has launched a campaign, The Adventure Effect, to inspire young people and their families to get outdoors. Highlighting the impact of people not having the opportunity to access travel and the outdoors, YHA confined the professional adventurer and author Alastair Humphreys to a room for three days. They filmed him, and also five young people during their first trip to the Lake District, which demonstrates their personal transformation.
The social experiment has been documented in The Adventure Effect film. Humphreys said: “Adventure is as much about your attitude as anything else. Be curious and seize the opportunities available to you.”
He shared tips to get your adventure started: “Don’t just talk about it. Do it. Do something simple and small, like going for a walk in your local woods. Take family with you so you can share the experience. Making the most of the outdoors shouldn’t be about pushing yourself. Go at your own pace and have fun.” yha.org.uk/adventureeffect If your aim is to spend more time as a family this year, this game is a great way to start. Hum the tune on the kazoo and can they guess it in the time limit? Kazoo That Tune Game, £20, harvey-norman.co.uk
Young people featured in The Adventure Effect