Summer is here and that means that we can finally get back to all of the outdoor activities we love. From camping to picnics to just walking around the neighborhood, we can all agree that spending time in the outdoors enriches our lives.
While many of us have treasured memories of playing outdoors as a child, the fact is that kids these days are spending more time inside with their computers, video games, and other high tech toys. Today, the average American child spends five to eight hours a day in front of a digital screen, usually at the expense of playing outdoors. However, research makes it clear that spending time outside has real developmental benefits for kids. Keep reading to learn more.
Kids need exercise in order to develop into healthy adults and right now, many American kids aren’t getting enough exercise. Kids should be active for an hour per day. While it is possible to get exercise indoors, the best way for kids to exercise is to go outside and interact with other kids. That could be riding bikes, playing sports, or just a good old fashioned game of tag.
Speaking of other kids, playing outside is the ideal scenario for kids to learn how to cooperate, share, and interact with others. Unlike school or sports practice, it’s an unstructured environment where kids effectively make their own rules and learn what works and what doesn’t. Staying indoors can lead to isolation which can be a cause of developmental issues down the road.
Another important aspect of growing up is learning to take risks. As parents, we always want our kids to be safe and for them to avoid taking unnecessarily dangerous risks, but ultimately what we want for our kids is for them to be confident and self-sufficient as adults. If we don’t allow them to explore and take risks as kids, it becomes very difficult for them to become competent, confident adults later in life.
Appreciation of Nature
While technology is a critical aspect of our world and STEM is becoming a more prominent part of our children’s education, it’s important that kids develop an appreciation for the awesome beauty of nature. From the smell of fresh-cut grass to the incredible transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, there are so many amazing things that kids can only see outside.
So, if you want to have healthy and happy kids who turn into successful and well-rounded adults, there’s one simple thing you can do to help encourage that. Send them outside to play as often as possible! Encourage their engagement with nature and they will surely thank you later.
Would you like to make your yard more fun and a beautiful place to be for your kids, your family, and your friends and neighbors? Call us today at 402.972.8603 or