Too much time spent inside can have a detrimental effect to the health and wellbeing of both us and our children. There is a good reason why our grandparents and their generation all encouraged children and young people to play outdoors. MOLLY MAID, the professional house cleaners, suggest the following reasons why it is still a good idea for children to spend time outside.

On cold or rainy days there is no wonder most of us would rather be indoors where we can keep warm and cozy, where we can be entertained at the touch of a button! It's tempting, especially at this time of year to stay wrapped up warm in the confines of home, but getting up and spending time outdoors has a whole bunch of benefits.

So, wrap up warm and put on your boots! Grab the dog, round up the children and head outdoors. You'll be doing yourself a favour and you'll definitely be doing your children a big favour – fresh air is invigorating and really can do wonders!

1. Burn off Energy

We all know children can be over-energized at times, running around the house and being rowdy. Due to the inactive lifestyle of many children, they often have an excess of energy and no real outlet – but healthy, happy kids need exercise!

Going outside gives children one of the things that they really love; lots of space to behave like a kid, and that generally means room for running around, climbing, hiding, exploring and playing in joyful enthusiasm.

2. Improve Health

Walking, running and outdoor play in general, is an excellent way of improving your child's cardiovascular health and it also helps them burn up that excess energy, making them calmer and helping them to sleep better at night.

3. Increase Imagination

When stuck indoors, children usually stick to the same activities; often sitting in front of the TV, tablet or computer screen. With constant entertainment on tap, kids have much less incentive to explore their own imagination, so getting away from digital distractions is important in helping your child's imagination and creativity flourish.

A simple woodland walk can turn into a magical experience; try getting them to look for evidence of fairy doors or bridges that trolls might live under. Get them to hunt out acorns that look like they have faces, build a fort or complete a nature-inspired scavenger hunt.

4. Calming Effect

With so much of our lives spent indoors in human-made surroundings, it is easy to lose touch with the natural world. Being around nature can have a calming and grounding effect, so spending time outdoors is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and stress.

Inside the home there are often a set of rules children have to adhere to, and for good reason, but outside (in a safe environment), there are often fewer rules for children to consider, letting them behave more freely. Things that they can't usually do at home (like climb on the furniture), they are suddenly free to do outside. Even simple things like splashing in a muddy puddle, climbing a tree or kicking a pile of leaves into the air can be a joyful experience!