The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and your kids are... staring at their screens again? There are plenty of distractions that motivate children to stay indoors these days. They might grumble when you try to send them outdoors to play, but don't let the groans keep you from pushing those kids out the door. Outdoor play has tons of benefits for children of all ages and ability levels. The next time you wonder why you bother fighting with your kids over putting on sunscreen, keep these five key benefits in mind.
1. Aids in Physical Fitness
Running, jumping and climbing are some of the most important activities of childhood. These activities help kids build muscles and motor skills. Encouraging outdoor play can also help prevent kids from becoming obese and help them develop a lifelong appreciation for physical activity.
2. Encourages Safe Risk Taking
Kids can fall, bruise and even break bones when they're playing outside – and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Kids need to practice keeping themselves safe, navigating physical obstacles and finding their limits. There's no better place to learn about cause and effect than in a safe outdoor environment. Jumping off the top of a slide might cause her to hurt her ankle today, but she'll learn not to do it again tomorrow.
3. Supports Creativity
A lot of the activities that kids do indoors are fairly structured. Playing video games, watching movies and reading books don't force kids to stretch their creative muscles. Outdoor play, by contrast, tends to be more unstructured. A kid who wanders into the backyard, armed with a few balls and her imagination, has to use her imagination and creativity to come up with an activity.
4. Helps with Sleep
Think about how well you sleep after a day of physical exertion. The same is true for your children. Kids who are sedentary during the day may not get as much good-quality sleep as kids who are active during the day. Research has also shown that kids who play outdoors are less likely to wake up during the night, helping your entire family get a good night's rest.
5. Provides Sun Exposure
Too much sun exposure can be harmful, but kids need to spend some time out in the sunlight. UVB rays trigger the production of vitamin D, which is essential for bone growth. Want to help those kids grow big and strong? Get them into that warm sunshine for at least a little while each day.
Summer break is around the corner, and it's a perfect time to enroll your child in The Brain Balance Program®! Transform your child’s life in a single summer and get a jump start on next school year. Contact us today!