From watching television to playing games on mobile phones, children spend a lot of time indoors these days. Statistics show that the number of kids spending most of their time indoors is increasing every day. There are numerous studies highlighting the adverse effects this is causing on their development and health. These studies have exposed the necessity and benefits of spending time outdoors for children. Some people claim you can have time outside with your kids in a green environment with vegetation and trees while others argue that it can be any outdoor environment.
However, most of the studies have concluded that children who play outside are less anxious, more attentive, happier, and smarter than kids who spend more time indoors. While it is unclear how mood improvement and the cognitive functioning occur, research has also discovered numerous benefits associated with children playing outdoors. Below are eight of these benefits.
- Builds Confidence
The way kids play in the outdoor environment has much more structure than most types of indoor play. There are endless ways to interact with the environment, from the park to the backyard to a local trail or a lake. Allowing your child to choose how he or she interacts with nature means your kid has the power to control his or her actions.
Playing outside is essential in helping children develop their learning abilities. By putting educational materials out, kids will be learning while playing which is a fantastic way to help them to learn new skills and information. Additionally, outdoor learning makes children see learning as an outgoing process instead of all the time being in the classroom.
- Creativity and Imagination
Outdoor play encourages a kid’s creativity. Varying from the confinement and constraints of indoor play, spending time outside boosts children creativity through the objects around them as they quickly tap into their creativity. As they interact with the surroundings, children design their creativity, think more freely and approach the world in inventive ways.
There are many health benefits associated with playing outside. Children are always more active because they have more room to play in, which helps them to have good fitness levels and build strong bones. Also, they burn off calories and extra energy. Furthermore, being in sunshine enables children to absorb vitamin D which when lacked in the body can lead to Rickets.
- Social skills
As outdoor spaces are more open than indoors, it is less daunting and helps kid’s come out of their shell and interact with other children or neighbors thus becoming more social. This means children will be more willing to participate in different activities and games while making new friends. Due to this interaction, they will learn social skills and how to interact with people.
Allowing your children to play outside helps them feel calm and happier. As already mentioned, spending time outside helps kids get vitamin D, which has proven to aid in creating a positive mental attitude and improving mood. This freedom also encourages them to exercise and get rid of excess fats, mainly if they tend to sit for long periods of time. This helps the children to become calmer, and they will become more focused in the classroom.
The freedom to play outside means they are away from direct adult supervision. This helps them to learn more freely while interacting with other kids as well as learning to play by themselves. They learn how to pick themselves when they fall, to take turns playing games, and how to negotiate when misunderstanding occurs, resulting in kids learning how to be self-reliant and independent.
Most outdoor playing equipment come with more risk when compared to indoor toys. You may encourage your children to play, but at first, they may be afraid to fall or try challenging them to pray different games. This equipment can help the kid learn how to push their bodies thus becoming more robust regarding risk assessment. With time, they will learn and explore new games becoming more confident to try new games without adult guidance.
Conclusively, while screen time is much easier and becoming a popular choice for parents, it is advisable to set aside time for outdoor play for stimulating activities and fun you can have in nature with your kids.