Playing outside and physical exercise offers more health benefits than you may think.
Playing outside offers the chance for children to express creativity, explore freely and essentially absorb all the benefits playing outside offers (see below). With this in mind, we should always be influencing children to play outdoors. Here's why:
Playing Outside Promotes Social Skills
Unstructured play is said to be the key to promoting a wide range of skills. Children will benefit from behavioral skills by playing outdoors, simply by being in a mix amongst other children and judging by the way others act. They will learn from each other and imply these skills into their early years and primary development. Although, naturally for some children it will take longer to learn social skills we must always encourage outdoor play.
Playing outside is said to naturally reduce stress levels. With a combination of the outdoors being relaxing and healing. As per this study from the Cornell Chronicle, their observations were:
"Our study finds that life's stressful events appear not to cause as much psychological distress in children who live in high-nature conditions compared with children who live in low-nature conditions," says Nancy Wells, assistant professor of design and environmental analysis in the New York State College of Human Ecology at Cornell. "And the protective impact of nearby nature is strongest for the most vulnerable children -- those experiencing the highest levels of stressful life events."
An Increased Attention Span
Exposure to natural settings through after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children. This is because a child's mind is said to be more focused and alert by exposing themselves to the outdoors. Studies have also shown that green outdoor settings appear to reduce ADHD symptoms in children.
A Child's Vision Will Improve
A simple study by Optometry and Vision Science suggested that children who spend more time outdoors have better vision than those who spend more time indoors. They account numerous factors for this, all of which can be read by clicking the link to their site.
Provide Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps with issues such as bone problems, diabetes and even heart disease. It's vital that children get a healthy dose of Vitamin D. You can receive Vitamin D by supplement, but the best way to get it is the natural version: sunlight. It's not advised, however, for children to stay outside in sunshine for long periods without protection to its rays.