Kids Outdoor Spaces & the Importance
Playing outdoors is an important part of childhood so why is it that they have increasingly less space to run around and play these days?
Most of us have memories of playing outdoors. Even when growing up in the city, there was usually a park or green space where children could congregate to play and use their imagination.
Unfortunately, today the kids are in front of electronics, such as television, tablets, laptops and phones for an of seven hours daily. Statistics & Research shows that today’s kids are swapping active, outdoor play for a more sedentary lifestyle.
Most children also spend a huge amount of time in enclosed spaces, at home, in school and inside a car travelling between the two, but they are also on stricter time schedules with less free time to enjoy playing outside.
Why should my child play outside? / Benefits of Outdoor Play
Children who spend their time doing physical activity or even spend their time outdoors, tend to be more active as they grow up. This is because outdoor play helps them develop and maintain their health and gives them these health benefits
- Improved Motor Skills
Playing outdoors helps children improve their motor skills like balance and coordination. Can your kids ride their bikes in their rooms? Can they hide behind the bushes in your enclosed spaces? No, right? For your kids to learn balance and agility, they need to step out and learn it all by themselves. This will make them even more confident!
- Lower BMI
When your kids play outside, they become more active as they are away from the screen and get a chance to burn their calories by running, jumping, etc. all of this leads to a lower body mass index. More active the child, the more they burn the calories and less the body mass index.
Improved Overall health
Letting your kids play outside will only make them more active and healthy. The other benefit is, if your kids play outside in the sun, this will strengthen their immune system. Isn’t it a win-win situation?
- Improved Muscle Strength
When your kids are on the playground, they do a lot of various activities that can help them develop their muscle strength. So, engage your kids in outdoor activities and see the benefits!
- Increased openness with parents and caregivers
Playing outdoors gives your kids an opportunity to see other people and interact with them. And with this, they learn to open up with others and their parents too! They learn how to begin a conversation and this whole idea makes them even more curious, therefore, the learning cycle never stops!
- Greater self-awareness
Kids who step outside learn skills like observation and reasoning. This gives them a perspective and with this, they also learn the concept of cause and effect which make them aware of their actions.
- Appreciation for the Environment
When you expose your kids to the environment, they learn to appreciate mother nature and get to see the environment very closely. They also get to learn about the small living organisms, their responses and other small details! Don’t you want your kid to know about the flowers and the squirrels? Their relationship with nature will just get better!
- Improved peer to peer relationships
Kids who spend time playing and interacting with other kids give them a sense of teamwork. This makes them less cranky and more cheerful as they also see other fellow kids and learn manners along with important soft skills!
- Use of all five senses
Exploring the outdoors familiarizes your kid with a variety of sensory experiences. Playing and spending time outdoors develops their ability to process and respond to sensory stimuli. They learn skills like eye and hand coordination which is very important in day to day life!
- Develop a sense of independence
When kids play outside on their own, they take risks, make mistakes and learn on their own! They won’t learn all of this confined within the walls. So, let your kids explore on their own and make them independent!
● Aid with brain development
As kids explore and experience the world around them, skills like decision making and problem solving are also developed. Once you leave them on the playground, they will learn all of this just by themselves!
● Improve communication skills
Nobody wants their kids to be rude with anyone, right? So, let your kids play outside. At the playground, kids get an opportunity to interact with other kids and their parents and in this way they learn about people coming from different backgrounds that help them develop their communication skills and manners!
● Expanded learning space
Kids always learn something new wherever they go! When they’re just counting the score and even when they count their steps! Just let them be and they’ll learn and even teach you!
What parents can do to encourage kids to play outside.
- If possible, invest in homes with a nice backyard and turn it into a place of fun like a playhouse! With the busy schedules, you cannot take your kids out whenever they want so having such a place just within your reach is not a bad idea.
- Plant flowers with your kid. With this, you are not only doing an exciting activity with them but you’re also making your kid a responsible person!
- Set a timer for your kids for a maximum amount of screen time. Yes, this is like setting up a strict rule for them but once it becomes a habit, it’ll become easy for you and your kid to spend time together.
- Explore nature with your kid, far from home. Take them for a long drive and show them the colours of nature!
- Keep them engaged in various activities, the ones that contribute to their overall development and see the result!
- Create safe outdoor Spaces for Children & the materials to use while making it. Teach them sustainable living in a fun way to make their future bright and safe!
So while screen time is the easier, more popular choice, it’s important to set aside time for outdoor play. Make sure you create opportunities for your children to play outdoors and enjoy nature and surroundings, because it is one of the best ways for your child's overall development. Nothing casual can beat the pool of germs that kids are exposed to while playing outdoors. After playing outdoor you need a organic kids towel for fresh bath.