Remember those good old days when you used to run outside every evening to play games with your friends, and came home tired and hungry? Those were the golden days, weren’t they? However, nowadays, kids love to spend their time in front of a screen after coming from school and sometimes, even parents want their kids to play indoors, which is not ideal for a child’s holistic development. Want to know why it is important for your kids to play outside? Read on to learn more.
1. A Break From Screen Time
Replacing screen time with outdoor playtime helps reduce the risk of a sedentary lifestyle and the risk of myopia or nearsightedness among kids. So make it a habit to send your kids outdoors for a few hours to play and learn. This way you can also limit their screen time and encourage physical activity.
2. Exposure to Sunshine
Everybody needs sun exposure for their body to produce vitamin D, a vitamin that is crucial for bone development. Sun exposure also helps in developing the immune system as well as in lifting your little one’s overall mood and encouraging healthy sleep, as it keeps their circadian cycle in check.
If you are worried about your kids getting sunburnt, you can always make them wear UPF clothing, applying ample amounts of sunscreen to the exposed areas when they go outside. Also, try to avoid sending your kids outside between 10 am to 4 pm, as it is when the sun is at its strongest and your child is at the highest risk of getting sunburnt.
3. Helps in Improving Motor Skills
When a child plays outside, they do various activities that help develop their bones, muscles and overall physical endurance. Activities like running, playing catch, kicking a soccer ball, playing hide and seek, etc. improve their motor skills and develop their athletic abilities. With every outdoor physical activity, the kids not only strengthen their bodies but also build self-confidence.
4. Outdoor Games Help in Creative Thinking
Every outdoor game involves planning, prioritizing, troubleshooting, multitasking and negotiating. Creative thinking and reasoning skills later make them confident and productive individuals. It even allows them to improve peer-to-peer relationships. So encourage your kids to play outside with their friends to help them develop more skills that will come in handy in the future.
5. Outdoor Activity Promotes Healthy Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle is the leading cause of obesity among kids. Kids who play outside are often more energetic than their counterparts, which means they are less likely to become obese as they stay active and burn more calories. Obesity is a leading cause of health complications, so while encouraging a positive body image, also make sure they learn the importance of staying active and playing outdoors.
6. Helps Kids To Understand Nature
When kids play outdoors, they encounter various flora and fauna among other things, which makes them respect and understand nature better, especially when compared to the ones who are glued to the screen most of the time. Additionally, kids who spend time in nature show more interest in conservation as well as appreciate wildlife. They will naturally value nature as adults as well.
So do not stop your kids from going outside to play with their friends. Instead, encourage them to spend more time in nature and play outdoor games instead of spending their time on their gadgets. And if you don’t have kids of their age living nearby, do not hesitate to join them in their outdoor playtime.