Smartphones, tablets, and the internet have become so integral in our lives that our children are also becoming highly dependent on these technologies. They would rather stay indoors to play video games or watch YouTube videos than to play outside with toys like we did when we were kids. But there are certain benefits in playing outside that children today are not able to enjoy because they are so tethered to different screens. As a parent, encourage your child to explore the wild outdoors or your backyard or local playground. Here are 5 reasons to let children play outside:
Playing outside makes children stronger
Because playing outside requires movement and activity, children’s motor skills and physical strength improve significantly. To them, playing outside is equivalent to exercise because they are able to run, jump, and catch or carry things. As a result, they are able to burn more calories, which then prevent child obesity. They are also able to improve bone and muscle strength. Additionally, when they are playing outside, they are able to get healthy Vitamin D from the sun. (Don’t forget to put sunscreen on them though)
Playing outside improves their cognitive, social, and emotional skills
Usually, when children play outside, they are able to interact with other kids and create bonds with them, which help with their social and emotional skills. With these interactions, their cognitive skills are also improved because they are inspired to be inventive and inquisitive, and to learn about their surroundings in a way that they are not able to do indoors. Roleplaying, for example, is a creative game that children play which helps improve all three of these skills. When they play games or share their outdoor toys with other kids, they are also able to enhance their communication skills and teamwork abilities. Therefore, as a parent, you want to invest in toys that can help your children develop positive social behaviors. Purchase toys from TheWorks that they can share or be able to role-play with.
Playing outside increases their attention span
Studies show that exposing children to screens early on significantly decreases their attention span. Because the internet is full of fun things that easily distract them, they often become restless and impatient when you take away their screens. On the other hand, playing outdoors allow them to slow down and take their time. Their curiosity is engaged in a way that encourages them to examine, explore, and inspect their surroundings without distractions.
Playing outside stimulates the pineal gland
Natural light that comes from the sun is known to stimulate a part of the brain that’s called the pineal gland. The pineal gland has several functions, one of which is regulating melatonin levels in the body, which is responsible for maintaining a regular circadian rhythm or sleep pattern. It also regulates happy hormones in the body like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Plus, the pineal gland is responsible for sending signals to our immune system when it detects viruses and other infections in the body. Therefore, when children soak in the sun while they play outside, they can have better sleep patterns, moods, and immunity.
These are just four of the reasons why you should let your kids go out and play. For stronger and happier kids, encourage them to play outside.