What are the benefits of kids playing outdoors?
Posted by digitalbharat on November 5th, 2019
The kids of the 21st century are living a drastically different lifestyle compared to the kids of the 20th century. On average, children play only 4 to 7 minutes a day and spend seven or more hours in front of a screen. It can be detrimental to a child’s physical and mental growth. Hence, a child needs to have suitable kids playing areas to play outdoors regularly.
Benefits of playing outdoors
Mentioned below are the pivotal reasons for parents to incorporate outdoor playing activities within their children’s routines.
1. Improves physical health
The only place a child can run, jump, catch, pull, lift, carry, and throw is outdoors. Motor skills drive each of these actions. Motor skills need the practice to improve, and playing outdoors gives children aerobic exercise. Studies show that children playing outside are less prone to obesity compared to children leading a sedentary lifestyle. It is because playing outdoors burns a lot of calories, thus helping to prevent obesity.
Playing outdoors also creates muscle and bone tension, thus fostering bone and muscle strength. Moreover, children playing outside receive sunlight, which helps build vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D makes stronger bones and minimizes the risk of chronic diseases.
2. Facilitates social/emotional and cognitive development
An unstructured approach to outdoor playing helps kids to develop other positive behavioral and personality traits. Children learn to take turns, make decisions, and share with friends. Such characteristics are more likely to drive children to invent, explore, and learn about the world that they live in. The interaction which occurs while friends and siblings try to invent and play games improves communication. It also builds cooperation, organizational skills, allows children to breathe in the fresh air, and reduce stress levels.
3. Increases attention span
Children need to stay alert and be aware of their surroundings while playing outdoors. Children are more curious self-directed, and likely to remain focused on a task for a more extended period. Having outdoor kids playing areas enable kids to initiate and follow-through plan-of-actions. Children who spend all of their day indoors are deprived off the exposure to activities and show less of the ability to initiate/participate in new activities.
Studies show that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) showed fewer symptoms when engaged in outdoor play activities.
4. Enhances sensory skills
An optometry and vision science study revealed that children who play outside regularly have better distance vision compared to children who remain indoors. It is the preschoolers who especially learn new things through their senses. Toddlers are delighted at the sight of new animals and birds. They are mesmerized with the fragrance of fresh flowers and watching rainwater form puddles for stomping. They also love to pick berries from the bush and eat them.
So, all of the activities mentioned above involve sensory functions in some way or the other. Such actions are only possible when children play outdoors. Hence, it is crucial to let your children play outdoors and explore things on their own. An active child receives outdoor light, which stimulates the pineal gland. It is this part of the brain which keeps our immune system healthy and keeps us happy and cheerful. Spending time in nature keeps children in a good mood.Also See: Playing Outdoors, Play Outdoors, Children Play, Vitamin D, Playing, Outdoors, Children
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