Many of our families started in January with a new goal of getting in shape and where we could we engaged in walking, jogging or another activity outside. My wife Dana issued a challenge to our family then as part of an ongoing effort with many of the moms in our subdivision.
The Challenge was to put down the remotes, video game controllers, laptops, ipads and cell phones and get the entire family outside and active. Dana wanted me to pass on this article from eHow.com she came across that talks about ALL the benefits of getting outside.
Many of us spend time outside completing projects and accomplishing a task. The favorite woman in my life invited our family to get back to perhaps the way it was when we grew up as kids….playing outside gave our lives both balance and benefit. Most of us didn’t have a choice back then to be outside all the time but some of the best memories I have as a kid took place outside.
How long has it been since you played outside?
Value of Outdoor Play
Exploring the outdoors is an important part of healthy childhood development. Many of today’s parents fondly remember childhood days spent playing outdoors. When children make mud pies and observe ants, it may seem like just fun and games, but the truth is unstructured outdoor play is an important part of growing up healthy. The National Association for the Education of Young Children reports that outdoor play reduces stress and restlessness in children and improves their attentiveness.
1. Physical Health Benefits
Outdoor play is the perfect antidote to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity. Research shows that children who play outdoors are more fit and lean, according to the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play. Children who spend time outside on a regular basis also have healthier immune systems. And playing outdoors is a good way to get adequate vitamin D.
2. Emotional Health Benefits
Playing outside enables children to relax, reduces tension and helps them solve problems. When children play outdoors, they learn to share and cooperate with one another and develop empathy. Kids who feel confident outdoors are likely to become competent, capable adults. Researchers have even found that outdoor play calms children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
3. Educational Benefits
The outdoors is a giant laboratory for learning that promotes creativity and problem solving. Researchers have found that children learn best when their body, mind and spirit are involved, and this occurs in outdoor play. Outside activities engage all five senses, which creates a powerful learning environment. The outdoors also exposes children to the opportunity to explore, experiment, form questions and create their own theories about how the world works.
4. Reduced Outdoor Play Time
Despite the many benefits of outdoor play, time spent outside has reduced drastically for many of today’s children. Kids today spend much more time in front of electronic media than children a generation ago. The lack of outdoor play is tied to the childhood obesity epidemic, and experts predict that the situation is so severe that this generation’s lifespan will be shorter.
Ideas for Increasing Outdoor Play Time
To get kids involved with the outdoors, encourage them to collect rocks, fly kites, climb trees, garden, camp, swim, go fishing, blow bubbles, rake leaves, watch birds and butterflies or play hopscotch
Read more: Link
Source: Davis-Bawden Julie. “Value of Outdoor Play.” eHow.com. http://www.ehow.com/about_6599728_value-outdoor-play.html#ixzz1ihE1LxwC