Why It's More Important Than Ever to Get Kids Outdoors
These days, children spend more time inside than the outdoors. With tablets, smartphones and the coolest gadgets at their fingertips, kids tend to forget the outside world. Children, however, are innate explorers. Making sense of the world around them and having new experiences are essential to their physical, emotional, mental and social development.
Outdoor play helps kids build confidence
Outdoor play has a lot less structure than most types of indoor activities. After all, there are multiple ways to interact with the world outside. They can run around the park, explore greenery on a local hiking trail or merely play with the mud in the backyard. As they interact with the outdoors in different ways, they build confidence in making decisions and actions.
Getting your kids outdoors fosters their imagination
The unstructured style of outdoor play allows kids to think more freely and practice creativity. For instance, you can bring them outside to explore your local town using a fantasy-themed treasure map. As they look for “treasures,” they can learn to approach the outside world in inventive ways. You’ll be surprised at how they can easily inject creativity into the activity. Your daughter or son may suddenly use a water bottle as makeshift binoculars, pick up a tree branch and use it as a baton or act like their favourite animated detective character.
Interacting with nature teaches responsibility
Plants, animals and other living things die if not taken care of properly. Taking your kids outdoors is an opportunity to instil responsibility. While on an easy trail hike, you can tell them what happens if they pull a flower out by its roots or step onto the growing plants. As they take a closer look at the beauty of nature, they will more likely learn how to protect it.
Active outdoor play gets your kids moving
Interacting with nature involves more exercise than sitting on the couch and playing video games. Your kid doesn’t even have to spend an entire day on a trail or ride a bike around the park—even half an hour walk outside will get their blood pumping. Exercise is good for kids’ physical development and especially beneficial for kids with ADHD and other focus issues.
Final thoughtsWhile giving screen time is often an easy choice for most parents, it’s still better that you set aside time for outdoor play. Nature may seem less stimulating than YouTube videos and video games, but it activates your kid’s senses and helps them develop in different ways.