Studies Show the Benefits of Why Children Should Play Outside
Playing outside is something that not every kid gets to do these days. According to CBS News, kids are spending way too much time in front of screens. It’s said that kids between the ages of 8 to 18 spend an average of 7 hours on their screens each day.
With increased screen time, this means kids are spending less time outdoors. However, anyone will argue that it’s better for kids to be outdoors playing than indoors looking at a screen. Having media-free zones is super important. Keep reading to discover the benefits of why children should play outside.
Children Get Lots of exercise
No one needs a study to show that kids get more exercise when they’re outside rather than inside looking at a screen. However, studies do show the benefits of children being outside and one of the benefits is more exercise.
When kids are outside playing, they are moving, exploring, learning, and growing. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids today are lacking in Vitamin D. One way to solve this is to get kids outside to play!
In fact, kids and teens should be getting at least 60 minutes a day of exercise. So, one benefit of why children should play outside is that they get lots of exercise! When kids play outside they also:
- Lower their risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Lowers blood pressure
- Develop leaner bodies
- Lowers their risk of being overweight
Children Learn How to Take Turns
If you’re always hovering over your kids telling them how to play, they may not learn valuable skills like how to take turns. One benefit of children playing outside is they learn how to problem solve and take turns.
This type of play is also called unstructured play and it’s something every kid should learn how to do! When kids are outside, they learn how to explore, build, play games, and be innovative. Sure, toys can teach this stuff, but being outside opens up a whole new world to children.
Children are Able to Stay on Task
Does your kid struggle to stay on task at school? Perhaps screen time has limited their ability to focus on one thing at a time. Video games and screens are easily distracting and allows kids to easy bounce from one activity to another.
Being outside means that kids are encouraged to focus on one thing for a while longer.
- Climbing a tree
- Throwing a ball
- Building with sticks and rocks
Their imagination is able to run free and not everything is decided for them. Spending time outdoors naturally decreases ADHD symptoms.
Helps Children Get Their Energy Out
Imagine kids who are cooped up indoors all day, they have all this energy built up inside of them. It’s best if kids have a place to release all that energy in a positive way!
If your kid has a ton of energy and you don’t know what to do with them, get them outside and let them play and burn off that energy.
Children are Happier
It’s safe to say that children who play outside are happier in the long run. How is this possible? Kids who play outside are able to just be kids!
They get to play and take their minds off life. Being outside also increases endorphin levels, which can also make kids happier in the long run. When kids are happy, other things go well in their life!
Kids may sleep better, eat better, and have better moods when they’re overall happy.
Children Use Their Imagination More
As mentioned before, kids who play outside, use their imagination more. The kids that spend more time on screens don’t really have the ability to use their imagination because everything is done for them.
When kids get outside, make up games, and explore, they’re more likely to use their imagination more. Not only are children able to use their imagination, while they play outside, they’re more likely to learn about safe play because they’re able to explore more. You can read more here about preventing playground injuries.
Kids should know the difference between safe play and rough play but they will never get that opportunity, if they never get outside and play!
Getting children outside and playing is more important than ever before. Kids are addicted to electronics and just aren’t as motivated to get outside and play!
If you’re looking for ways to motivate your kids to go outside, here are some ideas.
- Go outside with your kids, play ball or run around and chase them!
- Encourage your kids to play tag outside
- Encourage your kids to climb a tree
- Go on a family walk
- Go on a bike ride
- Do a little bird watching with your kids
Introduce some of your favorite activities to your kids. They’re looking to you for ideas! It may sound a bit overwhelming, but your kids are much better going outside to play! Look at all of the benefits of going outside to play and all of the research that backs it up.