Have you ever seen a parent ask sales clerks countless questions about what kinds of toys they should be buying for their kids so that they would be smart? We see parents buy classical CDs, workbooks, educational toys, puzzles, and more in bulk. The intention behind it is good, of course, we want our kids to be mentally stimulated even if they are not in school. But they often forget that time spent playing outside is as important to a child’s development.
Playing outside is more than just getting them cool toys, for instance, so they can go to the park or dirty clothes after a rough game. It is about the friends they meet and the health benefits they can get from the activities outside. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Listed here are all the advantages of allowing our kids to play outside.
Increase attention span and focus. Kids are very curious. Once they set their mind on something, they will do whatever they can to learn about it. And being surrounded by a natural setting, they become more focused on going around observing their surroundings instead of sitting back. And playing outside somehow gives them an opportunity to organize their thoughts more clearly so that they can act on their curiosity and start their investigation. Additionally, there was a study done by Kuo and Taylor (2004) that says exposure to natural surroundings can reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
Constant physical exercise. One obvious benefit of playing outside is the constant physical activity kids can have. With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and all the apps you can download, kids would rather just stay at home cooped up in their bedrooms than go outside where there is fresh air. There are parents who prefer it like this because at least they know where their kids are and what their kids are doing, but this also means we are harming our kids’ health. Child obesity is a very real thing a lot of kids are dealing with, and it carries consequences that can affect their adulthood. So allowing them to engage in activities done outside will definitely help them become healthier.
Improve social skills. Playing outside also means that they get to play with other kids as well. They get to mingle with people they probably have not met in school, or neighborhood kids they would have ignored if they stayed in. While school is a good place to develop social skills, there has to be a setting where making friends is in a relaxed setting, like a playground. Plus, playing outside gives them a chance to meet children who are not in their immediate circle so that they can have the skills that will allow them to adapt to any social situation.
Lessens stress. More importantly, playing outside reduces the stress our kids are experiencing. Stress can come in all forms like school or maybe something emotional. Being outside, surrounded by the natural surroundings helps them feel more relaxed and gives them time to recover from the day’s stress.
These benefits will have long-term effects on our kids, and this will definitely help them become more relaxed with their surroundings and feel more at ease when speaking with other people. Go on and schedule a binding time with them at the park and watch them have fun.