Importance of Outdoor Play For young Children’s Healthy Development
Currently we live in a technological age; children seem to be born with a special ability, almost innate, to handle mobile devices, such as tablets or smartphones. The number of applications qualified as children is enormous and children can find plenty of games to entertain themselves anywhere.
All this, added to the amount of game options that can be found on the Internet, without forgetting the already classic video game consoles, or the amount of hours that children spend consuming television, make children go out less and less to play on the street, to enjoy the game outdoors, in the field, in the garden or in the patio.
But we must be aware of the immense benefits that children have in playing outdoors. We have to go back to our childhood and try to show them other ways to have fun, just as we did when we were little. It is advisable to park technology for a while and try to change certain habits and routines so that children do not fall into a sedentary lifestyle and do not spend more than half of the day watching a screen.
Sedentary lifestyle can be both physically and mentally harmful for kids. Do they even know how much fun they are missing out on? Think about your childhood for a moment.
I’m sure most of you have had a blast roaming in the backyard, around the amusement parks and beaches on a wagon. I’m sure your kids would agree to as soon as they toss their smartphones to the side and step outside.
The only one who can take the initiative is you. Buy your baby a wagon and give him a tour to the nearest beach or shopping mall on the wheels. Don’t deprive him of the sheer joy and ecstasy you felt while riding a wagon.
Endless Benefits of Playing Outdoor
Many times we believe that by keeping them at home we are protecting them from possible external aggressions. It is true that if we are not sure that they do not run any kind of danger, we must be attentive while they play, but without obsessing or overprotecting them. Overprotection is not good either, because it will make them scared.
Running, jumping, climbing the trees or the swings and sliding. All these activities are very important to strengthen muscles and bones, in addition to developing balance, elasticity and psychomotority. Sometimes they may have a bump, but it sure will have been worth it. The blow will soon be forgotten, but the moment of fun will remain. The sum of these moments will make them happy children who will probably become happy adults.
Outdoor playing allows children to connect with their environment, with nature, and to learn to love and respect it. In addition, being in contact with nature will make them curious, eager to explore and learn about the fantastic world that surrounds them.
Playing outdoors also strengthens the immune system. As we reinforce the defenses of the body, we tell you an anecdote: in very cold countries, such as Norway, children in school go out to the playground even when temperatures are very low. They wrap warm and go to play with their peers.
In this way, they get used to their environment, the climate of the place, and their body adapts more easily to intense cold. On the contrary, the sun provides the body with essential vitamins for its proper development, such as vitamin D – that is, if we live in a place with a very strong sun, we need to use sunscreen creams, so that the rays UVA does not damage the skin of the children.
Another health benefit is that exercising and staying active is the best way to combat childhood obesity, a worrying problem today.
Playing with the other children in the playground or in the park encourages socialization, helps them to relate more easily and in a healthier way.
Children should perform a minimum of one hour per day of outdoor games. This will cause them to release tension and energy, which will translate into an improvement in sleep and therefore the rest of the child.
Outdoor games allow us to spend quality time with our children, riding with them on bicycles or skates, helping them build a sandcastle, teach them how to fly a kite, or encourage them to climb their favorite swing. This way, it will significantly improve the relationship of parents with their children and vice versa.
Come on, everyone to play!