These days you are more likely to find kids indoors than playing outside in the backyard. Kids are quick to learn how to use mobile devices such as tablets and phones. They are enthralled with screens. It can be tempting to use screens as a babysitter as well. There are days when the house is a mess, the dishes are piling up, and you are exhausted and giving your toddler the tablet or setting them down to watch a movie is highly tempting. This is actually ok. The problem comes when parents start relying on technology to entertain their kids on a regular basis.
Children need to have experiences, they need to play make-believe and have the opportunity to practice running and jumping. Many of the games and experiences that are available to kids inside are structured and don’t allow for the type of interaction and experience that playing outside allows for.
It might be scary to let your child play outside at first, but it is hugely beneficial to them and to you as a parent. The child will get to practice using all of their senses while in nature in a different way than when children are just in front of a screen. Playing outside with your child, or just supervising them outside will allow you to also de-stress and enjoy some much needed relaxation and maybe even soak up a little vitamin D. Being outside is naturally relaxing and lets your mind (and your child’s) be stimulated in a way that is becoming less common in society.
Making sure that your child has plenty of outdoor play time will also help keep them healthy. It allows for them to run and play and think in ways that are limited inside. As they get moving they are strengthening their muscles and burning up extra calories. A very concerning trend among America’s youth is the high rates of obesity and healthy problems associated with it. Playing with your children outside can also help you stay feeling your best and getting in some extra steps as you keep up with them on the playground.
It is very important to teach your children to have a love for the outdoors and nature as it allows for new experiences and stimulation that will help them grow and develop their minds and bodies. Find the time every day if possible to let them play in the yard or to take them to the park to play. Just remember to dress for the weather!