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Getting Your Kids to Play Outside

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A recent survey conducted in the UK suggests that children are not spending enough time outdoors. In fact, said survey reveals that prisoners spend more time outside than children do. This seems to support what has long been a growing problem not just in UK but around the world. Children are getting busier and staying indoors more for varied reasons. Early exposure to technology and access to the internet are among the reasons why kids are hooked to indoor activities like video games, web surfing, and more.

The movement to get kids playing outside has been growing in recent years. Many of the newly-built kindergarten buildings across the globe are designed to encourage children to explore and play outside. Parents, teachers, childcare providers, and other adults working with children are also doing their share to promote nature play. Bringing learning and play outside may have its share of challenges. But it plays a critical role to children’s health and development.

Nature’s best playground. The outside is one big playground. And green spaces like parks and other natural environment allow children to develop their physical, cognitive, and social skills. It makes them more active as they learn climb, run, and play with things they see outside. Nature play likewise provides plenty of stimulation. Children can learn to pay attention to their senses as they observe and interact with the natural world.

Encourage learning. Outdoor play is experiential in nature. It taps into children’s imagination and creativity. It keeps them active and engaged which may also have several beneficial effects to their holistic development.

Promote environment awareness and responsibility. Children and adults alike who spend more time outdoors develop a deeper sense of awareness s and appreciation of the beauty nature offers. When you take your kids outside, you give them an opportunity to marvel in the beauty of the things they see and experience in their natural world. This can help heighten their sensitivity to the myriad of beautiful things they see every day.

Benefits to health and wellbeing. Outdoor play is a great way to keep children active. Engaging in more physical activities help kids avoid weight related problems like obesity. It could also lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardio-vascular problems as they grow older.

It may seem like a daunting task to make children spend more time outside. But the rewards should make every time and effort spent doing it is more than worth it. Raising awareness on nature play, providing suitable environment for them to play and explore, and making outdoor play fun are just some of the strategies that could get more kids to play outside.