Why Your Kids Should Play Outside More
It is no secret that kids need to lead active lifestyles. Studies show that active kids are physically and intellectually healthier than kids who lead sedentary lifestyles. Sadly, a lot of parents interpret this to mean that their kids need to have “stuff” to do. That’s why kids these days have schedules, with dance lessons, music classes, karate, art classes, computer classes, and more. We have turned them into busy bees with barely any free time to be themselves.
Worse still, some parents feel like their kids should be allowed to do whatever they want. What this usually means is allowing them to spend the bulk of their time in front of screens. On average, children today spend 7 hours a day in front of computers, television, laptops, tablets, and phones!
Of course, this is not to say that these structured activities are not fun for kids. Nor is it to say that kids should have zero screen time. The takeaway here is that the life of a child should have some balance and simplicity to it. They need to play outside more. You should not swap active, outside play with structured schedules or sedentary lifestyles in front of screens.
When Kids Play Outside More, They Derive A Lot Of Benefits From It, Including:
- It Helps In Their Physical Development
When kids are physically active, they become lean and healthy. Outside play is also important for developing gross and fine motor skills in children. These basic skills will prove beneficial to them throughout their lives. This is why it is so important to let your child run around and hang from monkey bars in the park.
2. It Helps Develop Their Social Dkills
Playing outside introduces your child to a social setting where they have to interact with other children to maximize the fun they have. Games like tag and soccer will teach them basic communication skills and teamwork among other social skills that will be important to them throughout their lives.
3. It Teaches Them Problem-Solving Skills
Being outside will broaden your child’s imagination and creativity. It will also force them to figure out how to solve certain problems to achieve the results they want. How do you climb up a jungle gym to get to the top where the view is best? How do you build a sandcastle when the sand won’t stay in shape? These are the kinds of questions they will ask themselves and figure out what to do on their own.
4. They Become Better At Risk-Taking
Playing outside thrusts a child out of their comfort zone. They are forced to try new things. Sure, things may not always work out and they may get a few scrapes and bruises, but this is all part of their development. While they may fall off their bike a few times, they will eventually build up enough confidence to ride without training wheels. This growing sense of confidence will serve them well as they take bigger risks in the future, for example when starting a new business or pursuing a new job.
5. It Reduces Their Stress Levels
Several studies have shown that children have started dealing with stress issues from earlier and earlier ages over the last few decades. The good news is that playing outside allows them to get physical and experience an unbeatable sense of freedom, which is great for reducing stress levels and anxiety, and preventing depression in kids. Something as simple as playing in the dirt or digging for worms has been shown to release endorphins to the brain, reducing existing stress levels.
As you can see, unstructured play outside is tremendously important for a child’s development. It helps promote their overall health, happiness, and confidence while equipping them with essential skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. Want your child to be physically and socially healthy, independent, and well-rounded? Check out our Outdoor Play collection for some inspiration! This is a great way to instill these qualities in them and get them to spend more time outside. And don’t forget to dress them right as they head out, too!