Since the time your kids were babies, outdoors walks was a mandatory task in your daily schedule. Now, that your kids are already used to this routine, they are the ones asking you to take them in the park for few hours of outdoors fun. Maybe they know something we forgot as the time passed upon us and we became adults full of the responsibilities of adulthood. They are maybe aware of the benefits of playing outdoors, such as socializing, creating games, physical activity. Among these benefits, there is another one which has been proven as true by some studies: kids may see better if they play outside.
Benefits of playing outside
Let’s check out on some of the benefits offered by playing outside.
- Improving their creativity. Kids create their own games when playing outside, unlike at home where they sit all day long in the front of the TV, on the computer, or on the smartphone or tablet. Playing outside allows them to be creative, to invent their own games and their rules. It helps them develop their creativity, but also helps them learn to make decisions and resolve situations.
- Physical activity. At home, they wouldn’t have enough space to run, jump, or whatever they can do in a park. Kids are full of energy and they have to get rid of extra energy, otherwise sleeping disorders or anxiousness may occur. On the other hand, keeping kids inside the house will eventually make them adopt a sedentary lifestyle since it wouldn’t be much to do inside the house than sitting in a chair watching TV, or playing on the computer.
- Developing skills. Playing outside will help your kids discovering the world as it is, with its colors, textures, sounds, all in different forms, just perfect for them to explore. Playing outside will force the kids to find solutions, to solve situations, therefore will help kids to develop emotional intelligence.
- Social aspect. When children are free to play outside, is being forced to acquire some social skills. At home, kindergarten, or in the school’s yard, the number of playing mates is limited, while outside in a park they can play with whoever they wish.
- Childhood memories. Kids playing outside have the possibility to experiment, to discover, and to test their limits in the activities their involved, such as dancing, screaming, and running without the limitations imposed by a house.
- Children learn about the world around them. They’ll get to learn about the gravity, for example, when they notice that things go down by themselves, and never go up, or that the snowflakes are cold to the touch. While playing outside, the kids are taking contact with nature and observing with their own eyes how things work. Of course, all these things can be learned at home or in kindergarten or school, but learning these when playing outside, and discovering all these mysteries by themselves and will help the to learn faster and to better understand the world they live in.
On the other hand, if your kids seem to be sedentary and is not very glad on the idea of going out, buy them toys that they can use outside, such as bicycles, tennis or badminton rackets, football, basketball or volleyball equipment, rollerblades, or anything else you think it could make your kids go out of the house.
When outside, play alongside with your kids, being their partner until they make friends. Try forming them a habit of playing outside for 2 hours, daily.
Kids May See Better If They Play Outside
The argue on which this statement relies is that when kids are playing outside, the intense daylight is making their bodies to secrete more dopamine than usual, which is a substance that has been proven to reduce the risks for myopia.
A study conducted in China backs this argue. The study was conducted by 2,000 scholars and it took almost 3 years for the researchers to conclude it.
The scholars have been divided into two groups.
The first group’s teachers were instructed to keep at least a one hour class per day in outdoors and the kids’ parents were instructed to take their kids in the park for 2 hours per day, after school.
The second group’s members were asked to keep their normal schedule, but to limit the time they spent outdoors.
The results have shown that the kids who spent more time playing outside had the risks for developing myopia reduced by almost 30%, therefore proving that kids may see better if they play outside.
On the other hand, the kids from the second group, those who spent more time indoors than outdoors, developed myopia at a rate of almost 40%, while only 30% of the kids in the first group, those who spent more time playing outside, developed myopia, which was caused by other factors than the lack of daylight, such as genetic information.
This study’s timing is perfect. Nowadays, the trend of parents is to keep their kids up-to-date with the technologies like computers, smartphones, tablets and so forth, somehow forcing them to spend more time playing on these gadgets rather than playing outside, socializing, and doing physical activity.
What kids are doing while they are kids will reflect on their lives as adults. Therefore, those kids who spend more time playing outside will be more friendly (sociable), more active, healthier, and they’ll not suffer from social anxiety, depressions or weight issues.
Kids spending more time inside the house will grow up fearing of the outside world and people will more likely develop disorders on psychological and emotional levels or will become overweight or even obese, due to the lack of physical activity.
As we have learned by now, the fact that the kids may see better if they play outside is just one good reason among other good reasons that should make every one of us to teach our kids about the benefits of playing outside and about the negative effects the technology has, at young ages, on both their minds and their bodies.