No matter how much we love staying indoors, we will all want to have contact with nature. Nature can be in the form of having to feel our bare feet in the sand, a picnic under a tree, or a room with a view.
However, we seem to have been shut away from nature with the way we are living nowadays. We are mostly shut inside our homes, our cars or in big shopping centres.
While staying indoors, our experiences are blunted, and our senses are restricted. We may not feel this much as adults, but children do because they are missing out on the fun and health benefits offered by the outdoors. There are many health benefits provided for children by playing outdoors:
Seven benefits of playing outside:
1. Careful exposure of kids and adults to the sun ensures they will achieve enough and healthy levels of vitamin D. This is essential for teeth, bone, and muscle development.
2. Taking your kids outdoors has a load of benefits for them in addition to an inexpensive way of enhancing their development.
3. When a child is allowed to play outdoors, his or her motor skills, balance, and coordination will be improved. The muscles and bones of the child will be strengthened. All these are made possible when the child is climbing over natural, uneven surfaces or into trees.
4. Children can exercise and strengthen the muscles of their eyes when they are playing outside. This is made possible because they will keep on moving and looking up far into the distance. This is against staying indoors with their eyes fixed on the computer while playing games. Allow your kids to play outside, see different shapes in the clouds and other tiny creatures.
5. When kids are allowed to play outside without direct adult supervision, these nature-based activities will give room for independent adventure and risk-taking. Children will develop confidence and a sense of self-determination in their bodies, which grows resilience.
6. The variety of colours, sights, sounds, and textures found in different outdoor settings makes all the senses of the kids active. Children will make use of all them unpredictability they gained from playing outside in exploration, creative play, and problem-solving.
7. It has been shown by some researchers in the USA that there are symptom improvements in children who have ADHD after playing for 20 minutes outdoor as against the same amount of time spent indoors or in other settings. It shows that staying outdoors can help kids having problems regulating their focus. It is beneficial to all children. To improve the outdoors activities for kids, you should have an as much natural play space and garden as possible.
Above all, parents should allow their children to play outdoors. This helps to improve mental health by reducing anxiety and stress symptoms and lifting the mood. Find time to relax at a local park or under a tree in the garden. You can bring outdoor experience into the room by bringing in natural things like seeds, leaves, and shells of different shapes and colours.
Good luck and may the force of nature never leave you!