It’s no secret that kids today spend much time indoors, whether in front of a screen or doing other sedentary activities, especially during the pandemic. But did you know that spending time outdoors can benefit your children in several ways? Here are some benefits of doing that.
One of the best reasons to get your kids outdoors is that it can help boost their immunity. Studies have shown that kids who spend time outside are less likely to develop allergies and asthma. And while you’re probably already mindful of the importance of sunscreen, it’s worth noting that exposure to sunlight can also help produce vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones.
Improves Focus and Concentration
If you’ve ever tried to get your kids to sit still for more than five minutes, you know how difficult it can be. But believe it or not, being outdoors can help improve focus and concentration. A study by the University of Illinois found that students who had been in nature scored 20% higher on tests measuring attention span than those who hadn’t. So if your child is struggling in school, spending more time outside may be just what they need.
Encourages Physical Activity
Many people don’t know that childhood obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last thirty years, obesity rates among six- to eleven-year-olds have more than doubled. But one way to help combat this trend is by encouraging your kids to be active—and what better place to do that than outside? From playing tag to riding bikes to hiking, there are endless possibilities for outdoor fun that will get your kids moving. And as a bonus, all that physical activity will help them sleep better at night. Additionally, children are expected to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day to stay fit so that they can do this every day.
Socialization and Creativity
While outdoor play, kids can socialize with their peers in a more natural setting. This can lead to improved communication and problem-solving skills as they navigate conflicts and negotiate roles in games. In addition, the outdoors encourages creativity as children imagine and explore their surroundings. So next time your child says they’re bored, encourage them to go outside and see what kind of adventures they can come up with.
Beyond all the specific benefits outlined above, spending time outside can also improve the overall well-being of adults and children. Simply being in nature has been shown to reduce stress levels, improve mood, and increase feelings of vitality. So make sure you carve out some regular outdoor time for your family—you’ll all be happier and healthier for it.
Looking for ways to incorporate more outdoor time into your family’s routine? Here are some ideas:
Use Your Backyard
If you don’t want to go too far for your children to enjoy the great outdoors, you should consider using a backyard. Here are some things you need to do to prepare your backyard for that.
A poorly landscaped backyard can be hazardous to children. Make sure to clear debris, remove any potential tripping hazards, and trim plants that may have sharp edges. If you don’t want to do this yourself, consider hiring a local landscaping and gardening service to help you out. This will ensure that your backyard is safe for children to play on.
Outdoor Play Equipment
Installing a swing set or trampoline can provide hours of entertainment for your children. Just ensure they always use it properly and are supervised by an adult.
Get your kids involved in gardening by allowing them to plant their flowers or vegetables. Not only will they get to spend time outside, but they’ll also learn about nature and where their food comes from.
Local Parks and Nature Spaces
Check out local parks or nature spaces for outdoor activities like hiking trails or playgrounds. And don’t forget about local community gardens or farmer’s markets for fresh produce and even more gardening opportunities.
Schedule Regular Outdoor Time
Schedule regular outdoor time for your family, whether a daily after-dinner walk or a weekend camping trip. And encourage your children to put down their electronics and go outside instead. Your whole family will reap the benefits of experiencing nature and spending time outdoors.
So next time you’re looking for something for your kids to do, consider taking them outside. Not only will they have fun, but they’ll also be getting some great exercise and fresh air—two things that are essential for good health. And who knows? They might thank you for it later on down the road.