Parents spend significant amounts of money in buying classical music CDs, educational toys, and workbooks for their kids. This is to ensure that their kids’ mental capacities are being stimulated even if they are not in school. While this is well and good, parents often forget that playing outside is also an important part of a developing child’s life. There are countless health benefits to playing outside. It is about time we get to know some of them. Here we have listed a couple of reasons why playing outside should be one of the many activities we do with our kids.
You know how research has said green spaces makes people feel relaxed? Well, it is not just true for adults hunched over their work; it applies to kids as well. It can be quite tiring to be cooped up in the house when there is a huge space outside. A few hours at the park can surely be a good outlet to relieve them of their stress from school work.
Improves attention span
In a study done by Kuo and Taylor (2004), exposure to natural settings appears to have reduced the symptoms of ADHD. Furthermore, kids become more focused on investigating their surroundings instead of sitting back, it seems, and playing outside has given them the chance to organize their thoughts and take the initiative to act on their curiosity.
Promotes physical activity
Obviously, playing outside is a great exercise for kids. With the popularity of mobile games, our kids would rather play with their tablets than go outside for some fresh air. While some parents prefer it this way, what is being affected here is their physical condition. Obesity among kids becomes rampant, and that is precisely because they are not engaging in outside activities more.
Develops social skills
Of course, playing outside means mingling with other kids as well. We want to them to make friends, and while school can be a good place for them to form bonds, not being able to play with those friends after school or during the weekend will not ensure that those bonds will last. Additionally, it could be a great chance for our kids to meet other children who are not members of their immediate circle; giving them the skills to feel comfortable in different kinds of social situations (eg. if everyone around them are strangers).
There are still lots of benefits to playing outside, and research has been extensive on this topic. But one of the most important reasons for allowing them to play outside is being able to play with them as well. It could be the perfect bonding time for you and your kids; when their creativity and imagination are being stimulated, there is not telling what kind of adventures you would all be taking. So go on and invite your kids to a few hours outside and see those improvements yourself.