As the days get longer and our ability to move about in the great big world becomes a little easier (socially distant wise), make a point to take in the warmth of the sunshine and connect with your children. Play has so many benefits for children on a child’s physical health and development along with the social and emotional benefits of getting outside and exploring the world through play. Why is outside play important? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons…
- Exercise. We all know children have a TON of energy (wish I could bottle it up for my own use) and outside play is a great and healthy way to expend the overload of energy inside them. Being active while they are young sets the stage for future active lifestyles to keep them healthy as they grow. So, grab a ball or play hide and seek or another activity your child enjoys and get out there and be active. It only takes an hour a day to keep those little bodies healthy and strong.
- Sunshine. Little bodies need sun, too! Humans require vitamin D and it is essential for immune building and strong bones. There is also a direct link to sunshine and mood improvement. When the sun is out and we feel the warmth on our face it is hard to feel sad. Sunny days are made for us to soak up, so get out there. Your mood will improve right along with your child’s.
- Socialization. Social interaction helps young children to start to develop their sense of self, and also start to learn what others expect from them. When children play together they learn how to share, set boundaries, and problem-solving. Social skills is the foundation for all future interactions.
- Improved Sensory Skills. Outside play encourages the strengthening of the five senses: smell, touch, hearing, tasting and seeing. As your child explores the world around them in nature they are exposed to new opportunities to engage their senses and learn more about the world.
Bonding Through Play. Studies show when a parent spends time playing with their child it fosters confidence and connection. Through play, a parent experiences the world through their child’s eyes and it deepens the parent-child bond. Plus, it is a lot of fun both!
There are countless benefits to the health and development of your young ones through outside play. There is no right or wrong when it comes to spending time in the great outdoors. Take an hour each day and get outside. The long days of summer make for the perfect opportunity to enjoy exploring the world around us. Children grow up so fast and no parent ever regretted making these precious moments count. Get outside and PLAY!