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    Why Kids Need to Spend More Time Outdoors

    child bike seat

    We've all seen them. A ghostly pale child sitting in the buggy of a shopping cart staring blankly at a device while the parents try to get the evening shopping done ASAP. We get it, parenting is hard. Sometimes, handing a bright screen over with the latest cartoon fixation feels like the only way to keep a modest amount of sanity in a public place. Many of you already know of the negative effects that all the screen time and time indoors are having on children. So despite how hard it is, it’s important to find the time and make a plan to go outside. Here’s why:
     
    Being Outdoors Helps Kids Grow Big and Strong
    Being active is an important part of a child's health and development. Being physically active helps children develop motor function and muscle required during this stage of rapid growth. By starting them young, it sets a strong foundation for healthy adulthood later. According to Statistics Canada, only one-third of Canadian children are meeting the minimum requirement of daily physical activity. That's a shocking statistic! One study found that when a child played outside for an hour, it meant 7 extra minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on top of that. They also discovered that children who play outdoors are more likely to have better relationships with their peers. This is because...
     
    Children who Play Outdoors Learn Important Problem-Solving Skills
    A UBC lecturer believes that being outdoors helps children of all ages learn better, and he’s not the only one. Many researchers have studied the positive effects of outdoor play on children and have come to similar conclusions. For one, they gain more knowledge about the sports and activities they enjoy. It also allows them to work on their problem solving and observation skills, as well as develop motor skills and risk assessment. They'll learn about environmental factors like what the temperature outside is and how they'll need to dress for it. Physical activity is a vital part of a child's development and can help children expel the energy that gets pent up when they sit watching TV or in a classroom. By being more active, children pay better attention when it comes time to sit down and listen in class.
     
    Lead by Example — It’s Time to Get the Family Outdoors
    So we know that getting our kids outside is good for them — and it's not just kids who need to stay active. It can be hard to find the time though, we understand. Between working and keeping the house running and tummies full, when do you have the time? Instead of a gym, try running with your child to the local playground for a bit of fun after work. Or get in touch with your inner child — playing tag, grounders, and other such games are great for quality family time and exercise for the family. There are many outdoor activities for kids, which parents can also participate. In fact, when your child has to work hard to try and keep up with mom or dad, it can help them to push themselves as well.
     
    Biking is one of our favourite outdoor activities for kids (if that wasn't clear already!). At a young age, a child bike seat can allow a child to go on longer adventures with the family. Learning the feeling of a bike early on can help a child develop the skills to be on a balance bike in no time and soon their very own pedal bike. This ability to develop skills provides a child with the chance to physically progress at something that'll have positive lifelong effects on their physical, emotional and mental health. Being able to go biking with friends will help them to meet their recommended daily activity requirements plus explore new environments that can teach them new lessons.
     
    There are a lot of positive reasons to get your kids outdoors more. Get a child bike seat and pick a day each week that you can go adventuring as a family. Getting children excited about these outdoor adventures at a young age will help them fall in love with nature and the activities you love, too. You’ll set your family up for successful outdoor pursuits for years to come.

    Why Kids Need to Learn How to Ride a Bike

    child bike seat

    We all want to do the best for our kids. We want to make sure we give them the tools to lead a happy and healthy life. We want to keep them safe. We want to make lasting memories with them. Learning to ride a bike is one of the things many parents teach their children, and every parent has a different reason and method for how they teach their kid. And there are many reasons to teach a child to ride a bike.


    Here are five we think resonate with most parents:


    1. It's Fun

    Sometimes, the reason for doing something is simple: it's fun. Riding a bike is fun. The wind on your face, the world flying by and the feeling of the crisp air in your lungs. There's just something about exploring on a set of wheels powered by your own abilities that we find enjoyable.


    1. Your Kids Develop a Sense of Independence

    Riding a bike can give your child a sense of accomplishment as they achieve new milestones in the sport. As they get older, they can use this bike to go play at the park in the neighbourhood with their friends, or they can peddle to and from school. When they get their first job, a bike may be their method of getting to and from work. A bike is a child's first method of transportation that they feel they own. This can give your child a great sense of independence and responsibility.


    1. There Are Extraordinary Health Benefits

    It's recommended that children aged 5-11 get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Adequate exercise helps children focus and do better in school. It helps with bone and muscle development and can help children with their self-confidence and mood. Learning to ride a bike is also great for a child’s hand-eye coordination. All in all, riding a bike benefits a child’s physical and mental health and development.


    1. It’s a Sustainable Form of Transportation

    Biking is a great method of transportation. There are many cities in the world where biking to work is far faster than driving due to traffic. Riding a bike to work is not only healthy for the person powering the bike but also for the planet. A bike doesn't require fuel and leaves a much smaller carbon footprint than a car. It requires a certain amount of greenhouse gas to be manufactured and shipped, but at some point, it'll become carbon neutral if you're riding it often. When a child learns to ride a bike, they have the tools early on to choose to use a bike as their method of transportation.


    1. It’s a Great Activity for the Entire Family

    It can be hard to think of activities that the entire family can enjoy. Often times, a family has a few children that are at different ages or levels. Thanks to new and different equipment available for teaching children to ride bikes, even young children can come along for a bike ride on their parent's bike. As a child grows, they can graduate to their own and enjoy family time while exploring the world and staying active. With all the time a child spends around screens and indoors, a family bike ride sounds like a pretty great idea to us.


    Teaching a child to ride a bike can start long before you get them a balance bike. A child can be learning the feeling of a bike before they're the one responsible for powering it forward. That's where Mac Ride comes in. We want to provide a way to get your child outside for a family bike ride before they're able to pedal a bike themselves. They can learn how a bike feels on mountain terrain and dirt roads and can start to observe how to steer and stop. This early familiarity with a bike will help them learn to ride their own bike faster as they get older. A baby bike seat, and later a child bike seat, is the perfect way to introduce biking to small children.


    Ready to give your child a head start at learning to ride a bike? Or are you itching to get out on some family adventures with a child bike seat? Shop Mac Ride here.

     

    Image Source: @prevelobikes