Benefits of Outdoor Play: Households around the country have seen a downward trend in the number of children playing outside. However, the benefits of children playing outdoors are still significant. If you want your children to reap these benefits, consider reintroducing them to the outdoors by allotting an hour for outside play every day, setting up a quality custom playset, and even playing with them! Here are some of the most influential reasons to get back to the basics and get your children outside.
1. Improves Health and Development
The addition of outdoor play can be great for the health and development of children. This unstructured exercise helps promote skills such as balance, coordination, and flexibility. Both fine and gross motor skills are improved upon, and navigating the uneven ground is also great for muscle development. The extra rays of sunshine also help children absorb plenty of vitamin-D to keep bones strong!
2. Strengthens the Immune System
Getting dirty is a good thing! Well, at least for the immune system, it is. When children are exposed to dirt and germs outside, their immune systems develop very well. This means that many allergies and even asthma can be prevented, so don’t hesitate to let your little ones get a little messy when playing outdoors.
3. Reduces Screen Time
The invention of smart devices means that children are placed in front of screens for hours every day. While they do have their benefits, too much screen time can lead to weight problems, short attention spans, difficult emotional processing, and eye strain. Outdoor play not only decreases the need for screen time but also lowers the risks for developing eye problems like myopia. Replacing screen time with outside activities also helps improve the quantity and quality of sleep. This can lead to better school performance and even overall health!
4. Develops Healthy Habits
Playing outside will help your children develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. From a young age, children can learn to associate physical activity with fun. This may decrease childhood obesity, resulting in a lower chance of obesity in adulthood. Outdoor play encourages teamwork and develops self-confidence. It also helps improve energy, decrease stress, and maintain focus. All of these skills are vital to becoming a healthy, successful adult!
5. Promotes New Interests
Being outdoors can facilitate new interests in your young ones. Children may become interested in astronomy, seasons, plants, or animals. They may also develop important survival skills that may be utilized as they grow. Children can also benefit from gardening and learning about food. This is a great option for picky eaters to encourage a healthy relationship with food.
6. Develops Social Skills
Playing outside requires children to learn how to communicate well with their peers. They must learn patience, cooperation, and teamwork. Children may also begin to understand how a community works and what their place is in it.
7. Reduces Stress
Stress reduction is an important aspect of outdoor play. The peace and quiet in nature may be a welcome contrast to the everyday stresses of their lives. This relief may improve self-control as well as attention span.
8. Fosters Creativity
Playing outdoors requires a great amount of imagination. Children may get bored enough to spark actions of their own. They are forced to get creative when their playing does not already have a defined purpose. Children may also learn how to develop these creative ideas as a group, learning how to collaborate and communicate well.
9. Encourages Exploration
Outdoor play helps children develop a sense of orientation as well as basic navigation skills. Even more importantly, your children will learn how to be independent and confident in new places and situations.
10. Improves Attention Span
When children play outside, they must develop patience and a longer attention span. They may learn how to self-direct and explore things at a specific pace. Time spent outdoors has even been proven to reduce symptoms of ADHD.
Outdoor play has many benefits, and it is important not to ignore the basics. If you want to better your children’s quality of life, help them get outside, and explore the world around them!