These days, gadgets are constantly competing for our attention, and we're seeing children spending increasing amounts of time indoors playing video games and absorbed in their phones and other devices. The lack of outdoor, screen-free activity is concerning as it greatly impacts their physical and mental health. (And the same goes for adults!)
However, there are ways to encourage your children to get out more, and one is to build a tree house. A tree house is one of those wish list items that most kids want, and it can only be built outside, making it a worthwhile investment in your child's wellbeing.
Here are some benefits that having a tree house on your property can provide:
1. A place to connect with nature
It's proven that being with nature has an immediate impact on our mental health, and the more we engage with nature, the better we'll feel. The calming effect of sitting in a tree or just being around it in a green space, can reduce stress, and help relieve, as well as avoid, anxiety and depression as well as other mental health problems. There's even a type of therapy based on doing activities in nature called ecotherapy. As well, exposure to natural light can help alleviate symptoms of seasonal affect disorder (SAD) that many of us are prone to suffering. Make your tree house a device-free zone and you'll have a much happier and productive child.
2. An eco-friendly 'second home'
The whole family can benefit from building a tree house on your property. Made from eco-friendly materials, you’ll be able to develop the environmentalist in you while enjoying spending time in nature with loved ones. The structure provides shelter, making it possible to use when it's raining or during any other weather condition. Depending how ambitious you are, it's possible to make it winter-friendly so you can continue your family-focused activities year-round. The ways you can use your 'second home' are only as limited as your imagination; however, simple pleasures like picnics and board games can seem magical in this setting. Whatever you do in your treehouse, it's a fun and unique way to bring the family together and spend quality time that the kids will love.
3. A healthy approach to risk-taking and free play
Like many other outdoor activities, tree houses are associated with potential hazards. For example, there is a risk of falls when you climb a tree house, depending on how the access is built. Thus, you and your children are presented with an opportunity to discuss this and identify dangers, learn safety measures, create solutions, and conquer fears (such as heights). As well, having the tree house accessible at home for use any time (within reason!) allows children to have unstructured play. Combined with thoughtful parental supervision, the benefits of free play include confidence building and the development of language, critical thinking and problem solving - skills that will be carried through into adulthood.
4. Private Time
One of the cooler benefits of a treehouse is that it provides a place to hide away, in a good way! It offers a change of scenery from your kids' room or your den that can make doing homework or studying, for example, seem less of a chore, and it can encourage independence. Your treehouse is also an ideal place to hang out and have private time to reflect, read, and unwind, for both parents and kids. Alone time is just as important as social time, and having a balance of the two brings many health benefits.
5. Increased activity outdoors
A tree house will encourage children to go outdoors - after all, what child wouldn't be excited to have one in their backyard? They'll be outside in the fresh air, climbing up and down and playing. Its very presence will make their outside space more alluring, which will get them out to play by themselves, with siblings or their friends. This type of physical activity will contribute to kids being healthier and happy.
You can see how many great benefits a treehouse offers. Should you want to build one, have your tree inspected first to ensure it’s suitable for tree house building. Hire professional tree services like Bellarine Trees to assess the area and address any tree problem you may be experiencing. Then, get the most out of the tree house by making lifelong memories with your loved ones.