Why is it important for children to play outside? Top 5 reasons!
These days, it is incredibly tough to get your children out of the Netflix-and-cartoons routine and get them to play outdoors. With such a fast-paced and technology-driven life, can we really blame our children for not wanting to throw a ball outside and stay at home all day? But like it or not, it is extremely necessary for children to play outdoors as it strengthens them from a holistic point of view.
According to Sanford Health, an average American child spends a mere 4-7 minutes playing outside as compared to 7 hours in front of a TV or computer screen. To motivate your children to play outdoors, you’ll need strong reasons to explain this to them.
Read on to know 5 major reasons why it is important for them to play outside.
1. Builds physical health
The first step to a happy family is a physically healthy child who runs and plays around. When your children engage in activities like jumping or running with your family pet, they build stronger muscles and bones which improves their immunity. Their motor skills also sharpen.
Playing outside also means getting rid of diseases like obesity by burning calories. The sun provides plenty of Vitamin D that builds strong bones and prevents chronic diseases.
2. Contributes to mental and emotional wellbeing
Playing outside doesn’t just build muscles and bones, it also helps keep your children happy and active. The pineal gland gets stimulated by the outdoor sunlight, and keeps your baby happy and mentally fit. Imagine them slouching on the sofa all day with a packet of chips in hand, watching cartoons that have very little meaning.
Staring at a screen constantly makes your children bored and may even lead to unhappiness or lack of motivation to do anything substantial. But playing outside in the lap of nature will teach them to understand and appreciate it (which may even lead them to protect the environment).
3. Cognitive and behavior development
Sports like cricket, football, badminton, and others help your child to engage with others and learn basic skills like sharing, making friends, participating in group activities, and learning leadership skills.
You should always encourage your children to go outside and play with their neighbors or even their own siblings. This way their cognitive skills will get polished and they will also have a better understanding of the world.
4. Improves sensory skills
An optometry study showed that children who played outdoors had a much better distance vision than the ones who stayed home all day. Preschoolers, especially, learn a lot of new things through their developing senses. Imagine taking your little toddler for a walk in the park.
Your baby gets delighted looking at a new flower, or squeals in joy at seeing a bird flying overhead. You can also teach them the names of the various trees, flowers, and birds. This will help them learn so many new things and understand nature.
5. Increases attention span
Children who play outside have longer attention spans, according to studies. They are more focused, such as when hitting a ball with a bat or kicking a football, and they have quick reflexes.
It was noticed that children suffering from ADHD who stayed indoors exhibited much more symptoms than the ones who suffered from ADHD and played outside daily. Playing outside also increases curiosity and the urge to ask questions. This ability to be increasingly curious is an asset that helps them later on.
Over to you…
It’s not always important for your child to go outside and throw a ball. There are so many other activities that they can engage in, such as swimming in a small pool with a pool salt system which has health benefits or playing fetch with your puppy.
Cubby houses are also a good option. These small playhouses are ideal for a quick game of hide and seek and are very easy to construct. You may also look up cubby houses online and find one that suits you and your babies!
The important thing to remember is to encourage your children to explore the world outdoors. It’s fine to allow them a few minutes or an hour or two of television and/or video games, but overdoing it not only puts a long-term strain on their eyes but also makes them physically and mentally unhealthy.
Additionally, when you spend a few hours with your kids outside, you’ll feel refreshed and happy too! So keep in mind these 5 reasons to contribute to your child’s overall development!