Playing outside must be one of the fondest childhood memories for most adults. It is so sad that this tradition was not carried over to our children as research showed numerous benefits with physical health and development in children that spent 2-4 hours outside per day.
Although Charlotte Mason recommended 4-6 hours a day it is not always possible to fit into the busy daily schedules, however, what gets measured gets done, you as a parent owe this to your children. Time spent in nature increases children’s imagination as nature is a rich sensory environment.
Set a goal and try to increase the outdoor time to at least 2 hours per day of which 60 minutes should be moderate physical activities. Statistics report that children only get 4-7 minutes of outdoor playtime per day which is less than 30 minutes a week and 2 hours per month.
Reduce media time and increase outdoor time which is a more productive and healthy option and will also increase family bonding time.
Consider moving some activities outside: –
• Whenever possible eat your meals outside.
• Allow kids unstructured play without telling them what and how to play as this will develop their initiative.
• Allow your child to explore different areas in your vicinity; it will create a habit of truthfulness and observation.
• Draw your child’s attention to an outdoor scene, let him describe the scene in detail and allow him to paint the picture.
• Old-fashioned games that are high in energy open the gate, follow the leader and hide and seek are excellent ways to get rid of all the energy and to breath in the fresh air.
• Acquaint your child with a love of nature. It will broaden their knowledge and will help them overcome any phobia of insects, reptiles, etc.
A study shows that boys are more likely to be allowed to play outside than girls and boys are more active outside than girls.
According to Dr. Pooja Tandon, a pediatrician, and researcher with the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, spending time outdoors increases mental, cognitive and physical development of a child.
American Heart Association reported that the physical activity that goes with the play is just as important as it helps control weight which reduces blood pressure, improves good cholesterol, minimizes the risk of diabetes, reduces the risk of certain cancers and most important improves psychical well-being of your minor child.
There are always ways we can improve when it comes to the upbringing of your child so take your child to play outside in fresh air, and it will be beneficial to the whole family. Monitor the change, and you will be glad you did.