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News & updates

Stay up to date with what Questcoast Kids are up to in the community and find helpful outdoor education articles and links. 

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Questcoast kids open for registration

Questcoast kids is excited to announce we are accepting registration for our first ever Summer Season! This summer we are accepting Questies age 1 to 8 years for a Friday only program running 9am to 12pm in Burnaby. Questies can also begin registering for the Fall Season running Mondays to Fridays.

IMportance of microbiomes & kids

In today's modern world, children spend more time indoors than ever before. However, research has shown that spending time in nature can have significant benefits for their microbiomes and overall health.

A study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology found that children who spend time in natural environments have a more diverse and healthy microbiome than those who don't. This is because natural environments are home to a wide range of microorganisms, which can help to train the immune system and improve overall health.

Furthermore, spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental health in children. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research found that spending time in green spaces was associated with lower levels of stress and improved mood in children.

There are many ways that parents can encourage their children to spend more time in nature. This can include taking family hikes, going on camping trips, or simply spending time playing in the backyard. Even a small amount of time spent in nature each week can have significant benefits for children's microbiomes and overall health.

 

Spending time in nature is a simple and effective way to improve kids' microbiomes and overall health!

References:

  1. Song SJ, et al. Microbial ecology along the gastrointestinal tract of pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2019;10:2100.

  2. Shanahan DF, et al. Health benefits from nature experiences depend on dose. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:28551.

  3. Taylor AF, et al. Views of nature and self-discipline: evidence from inner city children. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 2001;21(3):231-241.

Screen time & green time

In today's digital age, it can be challenging to balance outdoor time with screen time for kids. While technology can offer many benefits, including educational opportunities and entertainment, it's important for children to spend time outdoors for their physical and mental health. Here are some tips for achieving a healthy balance between outdoor time and screen time:

  1. Set limits: Establish guidelines for screen time, such as a maximum amount of time allowed per day or week. Encourage kids to spend some of that time outdoors, engaging in physical activity or simply enjoying nature.

  2. Encourage outdoor activities: Encourage kids to participate in outdoor activities that they enjoy, such as hiking, biking, or playing sports. This can help to make outdoor time more appealing than screen time.

  3. Make outdoor time a priority: Make a conscious effort to prioritize outdoor time, and set an example by spending time outdoors with your kids. Plan outdoor activities as a family, such as camping trips or weekend hikes.

  4. Use technology to enhance outdoor time: There are many apps and websites that can enhance outdoor experiences, such as nature identification apps or trail maps. Consider using technology to supplement outdoor time, rather than as a replacement.

  5. Create a screen-free zone: Create a designated area in the home where screens are not allowed, such as a family room or outdoor patio. This can help to establish healthy habits and promote more active and social activities.

By following these tips, parents can help their kids achieve a healthy balance between outdoor time and screen time. Encouraging outdoor activities and setting limits on screen time can help to promote physical and mental health, while still allowing for the benefits of technology.

 

References:

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Children and Media Tips. Accessed April 28, 2023. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/news-features-and-safety-tips/Pages/Children-and-Media-Tips.aspx

  2. National Wildlife Federation. 10 Tips to Get Kids Outdoors. Accessed April 28, 2023. https://www.nwf.org/en/Get-Outside/Outdoor-Activities/10-Tips-to-Get-Kids-Outdoors

  3. University of Michigan Health. Balancing Screen Time and Outdoor Play. Accessed April 28, 2023. https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/wellness-prevention/balancing-screen-time-and-outdoor-play

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