outdoor play with kids

As grown adults, how do you feel when you flash back to memories from your childhood days? Do you often beam with a smile and wish those days didn’t end as fast as they did? 

Let’s take a trip down memory lane, outdoor play was an integral part of growing up which could not be replaced with any activity but less could be said in the advanced world of today. The rise of technology has transformed how children spend their free time. Video games, television, and the internet have become the go-to activities for many kids. While these technologies offer educational and recreational benefits, they have also contributed to the low level in which children have outdoor play. Let us explore the benefits children tend to gain from outdoor play and how it contributes to their physical and mental well-being.

Outdoor Play Benefits 

When children play outside, they naturally engage in physical activities like running, jumping, climbing, and playing games. These activities are great for building strength, improving cardiovascular health, and enhancing coordination and balance. It improves both their emotional and cognitive development for overall fitness level. 

Fitness and Strenght

Running around, climbing trees, riding bikes, and playing tag contribute to your kid’s physical well-being. A happy child is the child that enjoys the company of her mates playing and running around with no worries. Besides, outdoor play is a natural and enjoyable way for kids to get the exercise they need to maintain a healthy weight. Games like soccer, basketball, and volleyball involving running and jumping burn calories which helps regulate their metabolism and prevent excess body fat accumulation.

Sunlight Equals Vitamin D

Unfortunately, many kids today are not getting enough of this essential nutrient. With the rise of indoor lifestyles and increased screen time, children spend less time outside and more time in environments without exposure to natural sunlight. Vitamin D often called the “sunshine vitamin” is produced when the skin is exposed to the sun’s UV rays. This vitamin helps maintain healthy bones and teeth in children by helping the body absorb calcium. 

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

The only way to get away with the hustle and bustle of everyday life is to spend time admiring the beauty of nature. The sights, sounds, and smells of nature give a calming effect, an example is watching the leaves sway in the breeze or listening to birds sing. The excitement and calmness it radiates can lower levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone.

Builds Social Bonds

Time flies and bonds shared during childhood will always have a special place in the heart, they sometimes last a lifetime. The interactions, the fun, and the shared experiences provide a network of support as children grow and face different life challenges. For example, a friend you had a lifetime of childhood memories is said to share a special connection with you than the ones you met in your youth days. 

Hands-on Experience

Hands-on experiences of nature often come through play, a powerful way for children to learn. Playing in the sand at the beach can teach concepts of volume, texture, and physical properties. Even a simple game of hide and seek in the woods could increase their thinking capability. They could begin to ask questions like why is the sky blue? How do birds fly? Why is the sand at the beach plenty? These questions are the starting point of their learning. 

In summary, encouraging kids to spend time outdoors is one of the best things you can do for their development. It’s about more than just getting them to burn off energy; it’s about nurturing their minds, bodies, and spirits. So, let’s incorporate more outdoor play and exploration into our kids’ lives. Remember, the great outdoors is a wonderful classroom, and every adventure is an opportunity for growth and joy.

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