London Wetland Centre and why kids need to drink more water

London Wetland Centre window

In 2000 the London Wetland Centre was opened and became a wildlife oasis in the middle of London’s suburbia.

Wetlands are the primary source of drinking water for people and wildlife.” The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)

The 42 hectare site was turned into wetlands and gardens which are now home to birds, bats, frogs and other wildlife seeking its waters. It was the perfect setting for finding out the importance of enjoying drinking more water.

London Wetland Centre plumed whistling ducks

Like these plumed whistling ducks (above), we all need water to survive and flourish.

But how much water do we need? (And I mean us humans!)

London Wetland Centre Coot Chick

These were some of the questions posed to us on a day out at the London Wetlands Centre hosted by Robinsons, one of Britain’s most popular family brands which has been making drinks for over 100 years. 

London Wetland Centre kids exploring
London Wetland Centre ducks splashing water
London Wetland Centre mandarin duck

Exploring the wetlands we encountered a beautiful variety of birds, some wild and others bred and raised in captivity as part of WWT’s conservation efforts. My twins, Luce and Theo, were captivated by the sight of so many different birds. The Mandarin duck (above) was one of Luce’s favourites.

I often write about how important nature is for children. I now realise that I also must always ensure that we bring drinks with us during our outdoors adventures.

Lack of hydration can affect children and adolescents cognitive functions, such as concentration, alertness and short term memory.” D’Anei KE et al (2014)

London Wetland Centre Theo black swans
London Wetland Centre black swans
London Wetland Centre black swan whistling ducks

After all water makes up 75% of our brain and 76% of our muscles. 

London Wetland Centre black swans wading

Like these black swans, we should be sipping water throughout the day.

The London Wetland Centre guides brought along food for the children to feed to the wildfowl. The kids naturally began competing with each other on how far they could throw the feed or just holding it steadily in their palms to attract some of the amazing birds we encountered in the wetlands.

Kids who stay topped up with water tend to perform better in classroom based activities, such as handwriting and copying text.” Booth et all study (2012)

London Wetland Centre feeding ducks
London Wetland Centre Red breasted geese
London Wetland Centre bird flapping wings
London Wetland Centre cranes

When we move or just breathe we use up water in our body.

So how much water do we need?

Helen Bond, an independent dietician, highlighted the importance of water for our health and well-being during my visit organised by Robinsons.

Do you know how much water your children should be drinking each day?

We should drink 8 to 10 glasses a day for good health. Two out of three parents say they do not know how much water their children should be drinking each day. I learnt that my 8 year old twins need on average a fluid intake of 1280 ml a day – about 8 to 10 small glasses (150 ml). The same for most 4 to 8 year olds. From 9 to 13 years old, Theo will require 1680 ml versus 1520 ml for Luce. I need on average 1600 ml –  the same as other adult women as well as adolescents and the elderly. Men need to up that to around 2000 ml a day. For us adults that can include tea and coffee but not stronger alcoholic drinks!

London Wetland Centre otter pair on water rock
London Wetland Centre otters swimming

Young children – boys and girls two to three years old – need 1040 ml.So h

I’m not sure who was more active when my twins spotted the otters at the London Wetland Centre. Luce and Theo dashed back and forth across a bridge to watch the otters diving, swimming and playing in the water and on the rocks. Both pairs, that is my twins and the two otters, were definitely enjoying the water.

Emerging research has shown that good hydration has a positive influence on stress and well being.” Pross N, et al (2014)

I definitely had two very happy children when we left the wetlands. Back home they’re also rather delighted that they have my approval to add Robinsons squash to some of the eight to ten glasses of drink they need each day.

Disclosure: Our day out at the London Wetland Centre was sponsored by Robinsons but the opinions and content are my own.

20 thoughts on “London Wetland Centre and why kids need to drink more water”

  1. I can see some changes in your photos and I love them. A we e bit darker and same clearness!

    I am a water drinker as I came from a tropical country. I dont drink tea at all even on cold winter days. Just water. My son drinks a lot of milk and water too and same reason why he needs to wee a lot. Sometimes he wee on walls. Sorry.

    But looking at the numbers I think we still need to up our game a bit especially this summer. Thanks for sharing this info and thanks for sharing such wonderful photos!


  2. Looks like a great day out and stunning photos too. Olivia loves her water, she carries her water bottle with her all the time. 🙂 xx

  3. What stunning photos! The otters were proving elusive when we looked for them so sadly didn’t spot them so its lovely to see your photos. The day was a real eye-opener for me about the importance of staying hydrated. x

  4. Gorgeous shots and informative post! I had no idea how much my son should be drinking and need to make sure he’s getting the right amount. We recently visited the Gloucestershire Wetlands and had a fab time too. #countrykids

  5. Love all your captures…. From an early age, I’ve always given T water, especially during meals. I wanted her to get used to it rather than giving her juice even if it’s diluted. And it worked, she’s nearly six now and always prefers water to other drinks 🙂

  6. What a fantastic day out with stunning photos. Really interesting what you say about how much water our children drink everyday. I’m not sure my Oldest drinks enough so I will be keeping tabs on her water intake today 🙂 #countrykids

  7. Really interesting post. I have no idea how much they should be drinking. They do drink a lot but I’m not sure if they take the recommended amount. Food for thought. Your photos are beautiful. Amazing to have such a place in London. #CountryKids

  8. The wetland centre is such a lovely day out – the otters are my favourite too. Interesting about how much to drink, I think my daughter probably gets far closer than I do… #countrykids

  9. Those otters look adorable, in fact all your photos are stunning. What a wonderful place to visit and it sounds like it was fun for the twins as well as educational for you too. I for one know I don’t drink enough water. My children on the other hand vary, some naturally take at least the minimum and others I fear fall short. Weather and activity levels definitely play a part too.

    Thank you for sharing a lovely and informative day with me on #CountryKids

    1. I was amazed by the variety of the birds and otters are always a hit in our books. My two are good about always having their water bottles at night in the room but I do need to encourage them to drink more during the day especially when they’re very active. I was rather taken aback to learn things such as we use up a pint of water a day just by breathing in and out. (I wonder how much I use when I’m shouting!)

  10. What a fabulous day out and I love all the photos – especially the otters and the Mandarin ducks. So interesting too to read about how much water we should all be drinking – I have to admit, I had no idea just how much water my children needed each day (although they’re both pretty good at sipping water throughout the day) – so useful to learn more about why it is important too.

    1. We’re definitely going to revisit the London Wetland Centre again. I was also rather fascinated to learn more about why it’s so important to get our children to drink more water.

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