We’ve all heard that spending time outdoors has so many benefits. In fact, many studies show a notable difference in kids who play outside versus the ones who play inside more: those that spend more time playing outside tend to be happier, more attentive, and less anxious. So if you’re trying to reduce screen time in favor of more outdoor play, here are more reasons to encourage you.
Why Outdoor Play is So Important
- Confidence Building. Playing outside allows kids to explore with less structure than indoor play. There is so much to see and interact with outdoors: insects and animals, trees, streams, rocks, and so much more. The outdoors teaches children how to interact with nature and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings.
- Creative and Imaginative Play. Ever heard of cabin fever? It’s a term used to describe the irritability people feel when they’re stuck indoors for too long. All humans need outdoor time to give them the space to think more freely, use their imagination, and interact meaningfully with nature.
- Exercise. If your kids are outside, they’re probably moving more than they would be if they were plopped on the couch watching TV or on their cellphones. When you allow them time outside, they might climb a tree, play a game of tag, walk to a friend’s house, or ride their bike around the neighborhood.
- Healthy Stimulation. Nature strengthens the senses and directs kids’ attention to healthier things. By taking them outside more, you expose them to a variety of elements that stimulate their sense of hearing, smell, sight, touch, and sometimes even taste. Imagine how many positive stimuli are available right outside your doorstep versus what they would get from being in front of a screen all day.