Did you know that nowadays, the average child spends seven hours daily staring at electronics like television, tablet, laptop, or smartphone? Research shows that kids tend to swap outdoor activities for indoor ones, which, unfortunately, has a negative impact on their health and life.
As a parent, you most likely know that your children spend more time than they should in front of screens, and you need to encourage them to get outdoors. You’re not the only parent who has a hard time bringing their children outdoors, but don’t panic; with a little patience, you can help them discover the beauty of spending time in nature. You want your children to grow up to be well-rounded and healthy adults with a strong sense of compassion and independence. Getting them to spend more time outdoors can help them acquire these qualities. Encouraging kids to increase their time in nature, away from their devices, boosts their physical, intellectual and emotional health. This article discusses the benefits children get when stepping away from the screen and spending more time in the sunshine.
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Children get advanced motor skills
Children who play outdoors for longer periods develop more advanced motor skills than the ones who prefer indoor activities. Outdoor activities encourage children to move in ways that challenge their physical endurance, bones, and muscles, which boosts their coordination, balance and agility. Nature gives your children the space to play, walk, run, and swing. They can play various games they cannot engage in when inside the house.
When kids have the opportunity to engage in activities like riding a bike, climbing trees, or crawling under bushes, they strengthen their bodies and gain a sense of self-confidence. If your kids play any sports, spending time outdoors allows them to practice their skills so they can improve their aptitudes.
Lower body mass index
Research shows that one in three children falls under the obesity classification, which means it’s a high chance for you also to experience weight issues. Two factors triggered the rise in childhood obesity – people eat more and move less.
Kids who play outdoors are more energetic and less likely to deal with weight problems. Instead of being sedentary and spending time in front of a computer or TV, they engage in outside activities that help them burn off calories.
Studies show there’s a direct correlation between children’s BMI and the time they spend outdoors. When playing outside for extensive periods, children have a lower BMI than their sedentary counterparts.
The indoor space is smaller and prompts children to compete with others for the attention of adults. The competition can often overwhelm children because they feel intimidated to engage with other people and withdraw from their parents and friends.
However, spending time outdoors at Brooklyn day camps can help them feel less daunted because they have enough space to move and breathe. If you want to help your children improve their communication skills, enroll them in summer camps in Brooklyn NY, where they can meet peers who share the same passions and hobbies. Choose a summer camp in Brooklyn that meets their needs in terms of activities and hobbies so they can feel comfortable joining.
Improved general health
Outdoor activities bring several health benefits besides enabling your children to maintain a healthy weight. Overweight children usually deal with health conditions like diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease, or sleep apnea. Engaging in outdoor activities and spending time in the sunlight boost your kids’ immune systems and enhance their mood. Research shows that even children who have ADHD can benefit from outdoor play because they find nature as a place where they can release the build-up energy that creates them problems indoors.
Basking in the sun also helps your children get Vitamin D, which the body produces only when exposed to the sun. While vitamin D might be present in some foods, children need a higher amount that they can get from their diet. Encouraging them to get outside the house on sunny days will ensure their body gets enough vitamin D.
Appreciation for the nature
Studies show that 87% of people who spend time outdoors regularly during childhood value the environment as adults. The majority of people who grew up playing outdoors state that they think taking care of the outdoor surroundings should be a priority.
There’s a simple reason behind their passion for nature – they learned to love the outdoors through their early experiences with fauna and flora. They enjoyed interacting with animals and birds and listened to birds sing. They discovered plants on their own. They witnessed the seasons changing and learned how to adapt their activities accordingly.
The wonderful memories from their childhood drive them to be compassionate and informed adults who value nature and feel motivated to preserve it.
Improved relationships with other children
Children who spend time outdoors playing with others are more self-aware and have an increased awareness of other children’s feelings and emotions. Research proves that children who spend time outdoors playing with other kids are less likely to become bullies because they enjoy entertainingly spending time more than being naughty.
Imagination and teamwork are essential when playing games outdoors, encouraging children to interact positively with their peers. Children who are consistent about playing outside are more likely to form bonds with others because they find common ground. Also, soaking in the sun improves their mood, making them less likely to get angry at someone.
Interest in new subjects
Spending time outside the house introduces children to new experiences, smells, sounds, and sights. Everything unfamiliar triggers their curiosity and sparks their interest in topics they never questioned before.
Encourage their new passions by providing them with the materials they need to discover new things.
Don’t blame your children; they haven’t discovered their love for nature yet because it’s human nature to find comfort in familiar spaces. However, if you encourage them to get outside the house and make spending time in nature a family activity, they’ll quickly learn to enjoy it.