Ample reasons to play outside
Do you want a little more peace and quiet during the day or the school holidays? Instead of dealing with over-energetic children running around the house, encourage them to play outside. Not only does letting your children play outside benefit you by providing some much-needed peace and quiet, it also benefits your children in a number of significant ways.
Outside Activity Improves Sight
Studies have found that spending too much time inside and on screens can be damaging for children’s eye sight, causing them to develop short sightedness. Regular outdoor activity can significantly reduce this problem, allowing children to retain their site and keep their eyes healthier for longer. What’s more, a team of researchers found that a child’s chances of developing short sightedness reduced by 2% for every additional hour spent outside each week.
Playing Outside Promotes Social Skills
Encouraging and teaching children how to act and behave in social scenarios can be tricky and simply laying down the rules for them doesn’t mean they will take it all in. Playing outside is a fantastic way to grow social skills in your children and let them develop these on their own.
When playing on the playground, not everyone gets to go down the slide or on the swings at once, they have to take turns. Therefore, while taking part in fun playground games, children start learning socially acceptable behaviours, better ways to communicate, and they develop their language skills.
Outdoor Play Increases Attention Span
Most parents know the struggle of children’s limited attention spans. How many times have you been telling your kids something and they’ve suddenly lost interest? I bet there are too many to count! Encouraging your children to play outside regularly can increase their attention spans because it allows them to filter out any unnecessary information and stimuli, helping them focus on the task at hand.
Outdoor Activity Reduces Stress in Children
Children can become stressed just like adults and one of the best ways to help this is to encourage children to play outside. Spending time in nature is such a great way to reduce stress and anxiety in children because it is relaxing, there are no distractions, and it can be healing. Being outside in nature helps children escape the monotony and stress of daily activities, home life, and the classroom.
Spending Time in Nature Increases Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for the health and wellbeing of our bodies and it offers children several benefits, including strengthening bones, preventing heart disease and diabetes, and preventing vitamin D deficiency. Although vitamin D supplements are widely available, there is nothing better than natural sunlight to help children get all the intake of vitamin D they need on a daily basis.
Help Your Kids Explore the Outdoors
Children love adventure. They enjoy exploring new places and discovering new things. Did you know that children do a lot of learning and development while spending time outside? Encouraging your children to play outside isn’t just about helping them burn off that extra energy, it also gives them the opportunity to explore the outdoors and discover their surroundings.
Playing Outside Keeps Your Kids Healthy
Children are meant to be active and running around outside, it is so beneficial for their health and helps build strength. Encouraging your children to play outside is a fantastic way to ensure they are healthy and getting the physical exertion they need to grow properly.
The Outdoors Inspires Imagination
When children play outside, the simplest things serve as inspiration for imaginative play, such as stones, dirt, and plants. When left to play outside, children can use their creativity in their own way, making up games, characters, and stories. This is imperative to their development and extremely beneficial.
Bond with Your Child
Often, the most special moments you enjoy with your children are when they’re outside and you’re not doing anything especially planned. Give your children time outside to jump in puddles, explore, run around and get muddy, because not only will they be developing in all the ways mentioned above (and more), but they will also be creating memories!
Rachel Kerr is a professional copywriter for Thermo Plastics Design and Lines, a playground marking company passionate about providing creative, colourful, and inspiring playground markings to encourage children in outdoor play.
Thank you Rachel for writing to Mumways. Given the summer holidays, it’s very relevant and I am sure readers will immensely benefit from your ideas on outdoor play. Looking forward to many such interesting posts.
PS: If you liked reading it, please do share it with your friends:-)