It could be playing alone on the swings or being involved in a team sport; playing outdoors is awesome fun, indeed! But that’s not the only benefit, is it? Outdoor activities bestow upon us numerous mental and physical benefits. Let’s take a look at a few here:
1. Stimulates the Senses
The outdoors provide a valuable learning experience for your tiny tot!
When surrounded by nature, children experience a direct connection with the free-flowing environment. This experience stimulates the senses and paves way for physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development.
2. Improves Vision
Research highlights that for every additional hour spent outside, the probability of developing myopia drops by 2%! This means the easiest and simplest strategy to keep your child’s vision in good state and reduce the risk of nearsightedness is playing outdoors.
3. Intellectual Benefits
Surrounded by nature, your child will learn to ask questions and find the answers to them!
The natural world is a colossal, open-ended learning center. There is an innate sense of curiosity and investigation in young children. Nature provides them with an appropriate platform for discovery and creativity.
Activities such as digging the sand, jumping in puddles, collecting seeds, constructing things with twigs, observing the clouds move, listening to the birds sing, and watching worms wriggle their way through the soil promote their observation and cognitive skills. This helps them question and draw hypotheses.
4. Augments Social Skills
Being engaged in outdoor play enhances social and behavioral skills. Playing in a group fosters advanced communication skills and strengthens language competency. Children may also develop empathy and concern for friends who are hurt or sad.
5. Promotes Concentration and Attention Span
It has been observed that playing outside increases the attention span and curiosity level in young children. Outdoor activities are believed to reduce attention deficit symptoms in children. In fact, certain studies showcase reduction of symptoms in children suffering from ADHD.
Also, several overly energetic children slow down to dig in the sand or watch a ladybird move! The calming effect of nature reduces anxiety and restlessness.
6. Reduction in Stress
There isn’t a better way to reduce stress than to be with nature. Spending time outside can be immensely refreshing and relaxing. The open environment is a great outlet for stress.
Studies canvas a direct relationship between outdoor play, reduced stress levels, and high resilience in growing kids. It’s an excellent escape from the daily monotonous routine and the perfect channel of attaining peace from the academic stress.
7. Enhances Level of Vitamin D
Playing outdoors will give your child plenty of fresh air and warm sunlight!
We all know the importance of vitamin D in growing children. The advantages include strengthening of bones, prevention of heart diseases, and a reduced risk of diabetes. Of course, vitamin D supplements are available in the market, but why not get it naturally through the environment in the form of sunlight?
8. 8. Preservation of the Environment
Your child will appreciate his environment more when he has greater exposure to it!
Our kids’ tender hands and young minds are the future stewards of the Earth. Once your child develops a love for nature, it would be easy to raise a responsible human being who in turn takes measures to protect the environment and preserve our planet.
Train your child to explore the world and be in awe of nature. Children raised amidst the natural world attain self-regulation of behavior, empathy towards friends and surroundings, and a strong immune system. The outdoors furnishes the best platform of responsible upbringing. After all, nature is the best nurturer!