Today, many parents spent their childhoods on their bicycles and playing games on the side streets and in neighbors’ yards. Many children today spend much of their time indoors, playing games on their tablets or watching television … Safety on the streets is no longer the same and parents prefer to have their children indoors, well protected.
Many unstructured outdoor games are critical to children’s health, although many have experienced a marked decrease in the time they spend in free play. It is necessary to think about the safety of children when they play, but also to promote outdoor activities since it is the best way for children to develop fully. Next we are going to talk to you about some of the benefits that outdoor games have for children.
Childhood obesity rates more than doubled between 1980 and 2010 . One way to combat obesity is to allow children to play outside. Outdoor play gives children the opportunity to run, jump, climb, swim, dance and much more, all of which provide aerobic exercise and strength training … something they need not only for their body, but also for your mind.
Outdoor physical activity also strengthens the immune system and improves vitamin D levels, which can provide protection against osteoporosis and health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes . Children should do moderate or vigorous activities that add up to at least one hour a day.
It can be difficult to accept that children experience stress or suffer from conditions such as depression or anxiety, but these problems are becoming more common for children today, who have busy schedules with school and extracurricular activities. Physical activity in the form of outdoor games can help children reduce their stress.
Contact with nature can help reduce stress levels and positively impact conditions such as anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The neurological benefits of unstructured outdoor play extend beyond mental health . Encouraging children to play a lot outside can also provide intellectual stimulation. Outdoor games have been shown to help children better focus in the classroom and improve readiness for learning, facilitating the transition to school.
The game to the great outdoors also encourages learning and problem – solving skills that can help children perform better in the classroom. Unstructured outdoor play also promotes creativity, which children can apply to their academic learning, helping them see learning differently.
When children play with other children outdoors, it encourages their social development. Play gives children the opportunity to learn how to work in groups, including learning to share, how to negotiate, and how to resolve conflicts.
The children that are allowed to explore them through the game can learn new skills and overcome challenges, which can promote self – confidence, resilience and self – defense , all of which can help children learn how develop healthy relationships and become leaders.
As you can see, outdoor play is the best experience that children can have, since it allows them to fully develop and also enjoy life in their free time. The sedentary life will end to give way to life on the move and reduce the risk of obesity in the present and the future!