10.Improves Vision – studies have shown that participating in outdoor activities can improve vision distance and reduce the chance of nearsightedness. Considering that children spend around 7 hours in front of a screen per day, this is no surprise.
9. Increases Attention Span – Believe it or not, spending more time in the outdoors and participating in unstructured play can reduce the chance of ADHD.
8. Reduces stress – Nature provides a sense of peace and calm. There is no rushed or hurried feeling that can often come with the everyday stresses of regular life.
7. Teaches Responsibility – Having a child in direct contact with plants teaches them how to care for living things. Picking flowers or watching vegetable plants grow gives a child a sense of responsibility for another life form.
6. Promotes Problem Solving Skills – Play outside usually involves creative and critical thinking in order to come up with games or solutions to natural curiosities.
5. Actives the Senses – More than watching TV or playing a video game, that is. Think about which senses are stimulated when you are standing in the middle of a forest… enough said.
4. Builds Confidence – Kids can run, scream, climb trees, get dirty. The sky is the limit. Outdoor, unstructured play not only gives youth the freedom to be themselves, but also allows for decision making and confidence building.
3. Keeps Them Healthy – An obvious increase in physical activity and increased exposure to Vitamin D can reduce the chances of obesity, heart disease, future bone problems, and diabetes.
2. Stimulates Imagination – Unstructured free time in the outdoors allows for free thinking. A general curiosity for life emerges and “play” becomes anything you want it to be.
1. Promotes Social Skills – Is anyone tired of the younger generation hiding behind text messages, instagram, snapchat, etc. The art of social skills is quickly dwindling, getting outside forces youth to interactive without electronics as a barrier.
*The order of this list is purely my opinion.
Recommended Read: Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder By Richard Louv
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Get Kids Outside
Why Children Need to Play Outside
Why kids need to spend time in nature.
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