The World Health Organisation recently released some scary statistics about the health of our children which showed that nearly a quarter of children under 5 years old are now clinically obese. The long-term consequences for these children are bad with a greatly increased likelihood of a catalogue of health problems such as diabetes and asthma, not to mention the emotional effects of low self esteem, anxiety and being bullied.

There are two main reasons for this problem; poor diet and physical inactivity. A statistic we are obsessed with at Muddy Puddles which links to the obesity issue is that children spend half as much time outdoors as they did 30 years ago. This sits alongside knowing that children under 10 spend up to 28 hours per week looking at screens.

However when parents are asked then nearly half of them want their children spending more time outdoors. We know that when children spend time in the open air that they have healthier bodies, better concentration, bigger imaginations and amazing memories. There are 3 main hurdles for parents which are worrying about keeping their children safe, the inclement British weather and ideas for what to do outdoors.

So our dose of anti-obesity medicine is thinking up lots of easy and wonderful things to do outdoors as a family.

A few of my favourites include:

  • collecting stones and pebbles and taking them home and painting them in to funny faces and pretty ornaments
  • becoming spies and explorers and tracking down the ‘baddies’ using sticks as weapons along the way to defend yourselves
  • if you have a gang of children ie. cousins, friends etc. with at least 6 kids, there is nothing better than an old fashioned game of Kick the Can.


By Natasha Ascott, Muddy Puddles

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