6 Reasons children need to play outside

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6 reasons children need to play outside

Here's something so simple you can do to improve your child's chances of health and future success: make sure he spends a lot of time playing outside. 6 reasons children need to play outside

There are many ways in which the childhood of this generation is different from the last generation, but one of the most sudden contrasts is the level at which it is spent indoors. There are many reasons, including the increased time spent interacting with electronic devices, emphasis on scheduled activities and achievements, concerns about sun exposure - and, for many families, the lack of safe open spaces to play. Not just children; adults spend less time outdoors as well.

Here are six important ways of playing beyond helping children: 6 reasons children need to play outside

1. Sunlight . Yes, sun exposure - especially sunburns - can increase the risk of skin cancer. But it turns out our bodies need the sun . We need sun exposure to make vitamin D, a vitamin that plays an important role in many body processes, from bone development to our immune system. Sun exposure also plays the role of our immune system in other ways, as well as in healthy sleep - and in our moods. Our bodies work best when they get the sun every day.

2. Exercise . Children have to be active for an hour every day, and playing outside to play is one way to make sure it happens. They can certainly exercise indoors, but send them outdoors - especially with something like a ball or bike - encourage active play, which is really the best exercise for kids.

3. Executive function. These are skills that help us plan, prioritize, solve problems, negotiate, and multitask ; they are very important to our success. Creativity falls here as well, and uses our imagination to solve problems and entertain ourselves. It is a skill that must be learned and practiced - and to do this, children need unstructured time. They need time alone and with other children, and are allowed (perhaps forced) to make their own game, find out, and entertain themselves. Being outside gives them the opportunity to practice this important life skill.

4. Taking risks. Children need to take risks. As parents, this makes us nervous; we want our children safe . But if we keep them in bubbles and never let them take risks, they will not know what they can do - and they may not have the confidence and courage to face the inevitable risks in life. Yes, you can break your arm from climbing a tree - and yes, you can be humiliated when you try to make friends and be rejected. But that does not mean you should not try; the lessons we learn from failure are just as important as what we learn from success.

5. Socialization . Children need to learn how to work together. They need to learn to be friends, how to share and work together, how to treat others. If they only interact in highly structured settings, such as schools or sports teams, they will not - they can not - learn everything they need to know.

6. Appreciation of nature . So much our world is changing, and not getting better. If a child grows never walks in the forest, digs the ground, sees animals in their habitats, climbs mountains, plays in rivers, or stares at the endless ocean horizon, they may never really understand what must happen. lose. The future of our planet depends on our children; they need to learn to appreciate it.

So try it. Do what our parents do: send your kids out. Better go with them. And do all you can to make sure that every child can do the same.

Follow me on Twitter @drClaire

6 reasons children need to play outside

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