4 Reasons to Get Your Children to Play Outdoors This Summer

Summer’s here, school’s out, the weather’s warm… It’s the perfect opportunity for kids to start playing outside. Unfortunately, many children are so caught up in their electronic devices that they don’t see the joy in playing in nature. One alarming study in the UK found that prisoners spend more time outside than kids.

Even if it’s not always easy to coax kids to play out of the house, it’s a battle worth waging for multiple reasons:

1. Combating Obesity

Kids playing in the park

Indoor play just can’t compete with the physical engagement the outdoors presents to kids. With more room to run, jump and climb, it makes sense that kids who have the opportunity to play outdoors will similarly have a chance to burn more calories.

It’s no wonder that studies in both the U.K. and the U.S. show a connection between kids who play outside and reduced rates of obesity. Playing outdoors is part of healthy, active lifestyle for a child. Whether you want to help your kid get into better shape, or just counterbalance some of their less healthy activities and snacks, it’s a good way to ensure they’re getting some sort of exercise.

2. Developing Conflict Management

Fed up mother listening to her young children argue

When it comes to developing social skills, there is perhaps no better place for kids to do that than being outside. A study conducted in Wales found that unstructured outdoor play was a great environment for children to learn how to handle conflicts.

Indoors, kids turn to adults to try to settle disputes, but outside, kids are more likely to work out their own problems in a satisfactory way. They also tend to use nature as their toys rather than actual toys, providing kids with the opportunity to compromise and develop their own rules for playing.

3. Improving the Mind

Happy mother and daughter reading a book at park

Two years ago, the Nature Conservancy released a bunch of statistics about how playing outside can help kids’ brains. There’s a nifty graphic you can look at here, but here are some of the more notable stats:

  • After four days outside, backpackers scored 50 percent better on creativity tests
  • 20 minutes of walking outdoors improves a child’s concentration levels
  • 65 percent of kids say they feel “calm” and “happy” while spending time outside

4. Preserving Quality of Vision

Optometrist performing visual field test

If you want your kids to see well, sending them outside is a good way to keep their eyes healthy. Scientific research found that kids who were outside for at least 14 hours were significantly less likely to need glasses later in life.

Part of that seems to be that natural light is great for developing young eyes. Another reason for this benefit is that by going outside, kids aren’t spending quite as much time in front of television and computer screens. That time away allows their eyes to recooperate and develop in a natural setting.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

106 comments

Chun Lai T
Chun Lai T10 months ago

Thanks

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Tin Ling L
Tin Ling L10 months ago

ty

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George L
George L10 months ago

ty

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Andifix A.
Past Member about a year ago

Miraculous blog site!! I would surely bookmark this site and every day I’ll get more and more latest information.
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Philippa Powers
Philippa Powersabout a year ago

When I was a child, we all played outside all the time. It was wonderful!

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Nathan D.
Nathan Dabout a year ago

3,059 shooting victims in Chicago since January 2016. Yes, let's take our children outside more.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

When our grandchildren are with us, we always play outside.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Margie FOURIE
Margie FOURIEabout a year ago

Didnt we all, dont we all?

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Randy Q.
Past Member about a year ago

Thanks!

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