Let's Play Outside The Benefits of Playing Outside for Kids
It wasn’t too long ago that parents would call us in for dinner and remind us to be back home before the streetlights kicked on. Now, playing outside is something we have to plan and sometimes even talk our kids into doing. The ChildMind Society actually found that the average kid spends just 4-7 minutes in unstructured outdoor play, compared to an average of 7 hours in front of a screen. This surprising but all-to-real statistic, along with the multitude of benefits of playing outside, show that something has got to change.
Below, we’ll dive into why exactly it is so important that kids play outside, as well as provide you with a few tried-and-true ways to get your little ones excited about being outdoors.
1.Playing Outside Brings Measurable Physical Benefits
When kids play outside, it’s not only for fun (though that’s at the top of the list as far as importance goes as well). One of the benefits of playing outside is that it leads to measurable
They Get Their Fill of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, and the easiest way to get a dose is by spending time in the sun. Of course, sunscreen is important to prevent sunburn and future skin issues, but allowing our kids to soak up some sunshine ensures they’re getting this important and valuable vitamin.
Their Eyesight May Improve
This one is really interesting; A recent optometry study found that kids who spend more time outside had better distance vision compared to children who spend more time indoors.
If They Suffer From ADHD, They Could Exhibit Fewer Symptoms
Other studies have found that some children with ADHD could lessen their symptoms by spending more time outside. Outside time can also improve focus abilities and attention spans in kids, with or without an ADHD diagnosis.
Their Immune System Gets a Significant Boost
The great outdoors may not be the cleanest environment, but that’s a great thing for immune
systems of all ages. Aside from getting a bit dirty, sunlight can help boost the pineal gland, which is responsible for building a healthy immune system in our children.
2.Playing Outside Makes Exercise Come Naturally
When a kid gets outside, it’s almost as if it’s their instinct to run, jump, or even just explore. All of this physical activity is essential to childrens’ health, and the fact that it comes so easily outside is just a bonus.
3.Kids Take Risks While Playing Outside
Another benefit of playing outside is that it encourages kids to take risks. As a parent, this can sound a bit scary, however, it is an important part of development. Risk taking shows kids what they are capable of, boosts their confidence, and shows them that it is okay to try new things. When the risks don’t turn out so great, it teaches them to keep moving forward and to learn from their mistakes.
4.Outside Time Boosts Creativity
When kids are outside, they don’t have a screen or passive toys to turn to. They’ve got to find their own way to stay busy, and their creativity greatly expands. This allows kids the chance to think for themselves, and invent and design their own ways to play. The limits are endless to the types of skills this can build for their futures.
5.It Creates a Love for Nature
As our planet continues to change, it’s essential that we teach our children why it’s something they should love and care for. Bringing them outside gives them a sense of wonder that no indoor activity can provide. It introduces them to life outside themself. Not only does this love for nature improve chances of the child wanting to take better care of the planet in the future, it ensures that next time you invite them out, they’ll be grabbing their shoes and running for the door.
Playing Outside: Tips and Ideas
If you’ve got a child that would rather stay inside, you may need to have a few tricks up your sleeve to get them to enjoy the benefits of playing outside. Try out one of the games or toys below to start. Once they’re out there, there’s a good chance they’ll take the majority of the playing into their own hands.
Go On a Nature Walk
Take your child somewhere they’re never been. Show them a beautiful pond where ducks tend to swim, or walk through an enchanting forest filled with tall pines. Once they’re out in nature, they’re much more likely to start exploring (and enjoy it, too).
Play a New Game
Get your child excited to be outside by setting up a simple scavenger hunt in the yard or inviting a friend over for a game of makeshift baseball. If you bring their interests out with you, there’s a better chance they’ll enjoy their time in the fresh air.
Try a New Outdoor Toy
Sometimes all it takes is a new, exciting toy to spark your child’s interest in the outdoors. You can check out our selection of outdoor toys at Timeless Toys Chicago by clicking here.
This isn’t a complete list of the benefits of playing outside, but even these reasons are more than enough to make outdoor time a part of our everyday routines. Give your child a boost to their overall health, wellbeing, and creativity, with just three simple words– “Let’s play outside.”