Fifty years ago, it was commonplace to find children playing outside from the time the sun came up until it went down. However, there are so many indoor distractions for kids like video games and television that not as many children are playing outside these days.
It is important for parents to encourage outdoors activities for kids because there are so many benefits to being outdoors.
Here are some great reasons:
In general, the outdoors provides much more space to run and play than being indoors.
Not to mention most outdoor activities require a lot of movement (i.e. swimming, sports). Children will naturally get plenty of exercise playing outside, which helps cut down on the chances of childhood obesity and other health problems.
Letting kids play outside in the sunshine allows them to absorb the vitamin D they need, which is important for healthy bones.
Sunscreen can inhibit this absorption, but that certainly doesn’t mean they shouldn’t use it! Just make sure you give them a few minutes before slathering it on.
Many parents can be wary of allowing children to do art projects inside for fear of them painting the walls, carpets, and whatever else. Outside kids can play with sidewalk chalk or even do finger painting in the grass. This way they have their fun, let their creativity flow and the house stays intact.
Kids need to be around other children. It is essential to their socio-emotional development. Take them to the playground, so they can learn to take turns, share, and play well with others. It can also be nice for parents as well because there might be a few other parents there to spend time with.
5) Learn about nature
An outdoor adventure is always a good way for kids to learn about their environment.
Even in their own backyard, they will learn about different plants and insects.
If you are really adventurous you can take them on a short nature hike to really experience the outdoors.
6) Increases attention span
Science shows that children who spend time engaging in outdoor activity are better able to pay attention when needed.
Physical activity engages higher levels of brain activity and makes it easier for children to pay attention and learn.
7) Relieves stress
Children today are far more stressed than their parents realise, which causes headaches, trouble sleeping and other problems. Playing outside is known to reduce anxiety and stress levels in children, which will improve all areas of life.
What are your kid’s favourite things to do outside? Please share in the comments below.