Why should children play outdoors? Back in my day, playing outside was the in thing. Nothing could beat riding a bike around the neighborhood, playing hide-and-seek by the park, or just simply goofing around in front of someone’s yard. However, most of you will agree that when we imagine what American childhood is like now, we see a picture of mainly children spending time indoors, playing video games or something. Is that bad though? Studies show that less time spent outdoors most often doubles the chances of childhood obesity rate. In addition, children who spend most of their time playing indoors have shown to have less creativity, concentration, and social skills.
Other than the studies previously mentioned, a lot of pediatricians and child psychologists are beginning to see a negative effects of staying indoors too. This ranges from reduced cognitive development as a result of overly structured activities that do not stimulate problem solving, as well as less muscle development, and a poor immune system. So, why should children play outdoors more often?
Outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations and their attention span, decrease aggression, and boosts performance in school too. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly become better stewards of the environment. Other benefits are listed here:
Strengthens the immune system
When your children come into contact with dirt, animals, pests, and bacteria outdoors on a regular basis, and not to excessively, they are more likely to become immune from these things. When they grow up, they carry this immunity along and they are then less likely to contract certain infectious diseases.
Exercise and Activity
Exercising while having fun is the best kind of exercise, and that’s exactly what playing outside does. Riding bikes, playing tag with friends, building a snowman, climbing a tree, walking the dog, and the list goes on and on. There are so many things you can have your child do outside and whatever that it is, it will most likely require him or her to move around.
In this age of electronics and multimedia, children are literally shown everything with ease. And because of this, why go outside? Whatever they want to see outdoors, they can simply look for by just typing in a few keys. Although this is convenient and may actually help them with their schoolwork, the benefit of stimulating imagination is not acquired. Why imagine things when something else can imagine it for you, right? Children who have this mindset are often less creative.
Improves Both Interpersonal and Intrapersonal skills
Learning how to get along with friends or playing games in teams stimulates and improves both problem solving and social skills. Not only does the child discover how to relate to the world around him, he or she also learns more about himself.
We end this article by concluding that yes, it is important for children to spend regular time outdoors playing. As a not so popular saying goes, “It takes a backyard, a playground, and a park to raise a child.” Agree?