5 Reasons You Should Play Outside With Your Kids

Kids and the outdoors go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you put a child outside to play, they will find something to do, even if it’s in an open field. Children are hardwired to use their imaginations and be active - you just have to nurture that trait instead of allowing them to become sedentary and dependent on technology.

The outdoors provide children with several opportunities that can promote growth and last into adulthood. Participating in play alongside your kids can foster their trust in you and enable them to develop greater skills. This will teach them how to play with others, negotiate with peers and navigate their feelings.

Here are some of the benefits of getting outdoors and playing with your children

1. Target Motor Skills

Playgrounds are designed for children to improve their fine motor skills. You’ll see components of playsets that allow children to climb, spin, flip and more. Each small part of playground equipment exists to teach kids something new.

Older children who may already have control over their motor skills can anticipate getting the full effect of the five senses. Instead of merely watching TV, they’re touching things, using their muscles, and smelling, hearing and breathing the world around them. Playing with others teaches them how to make good executive decisions and teaches them problem-solving skills crucial to the adult world.

2. Increase Social Awareness

When you play with your children, you can entice them to act out fun scenarios. By treating your playtime like a treasure hunt or going somewhere they’ve never been before, you’ll get them excited to experience something new and hone the other skills they’ve learned through playing.

Playing with others allows your child to improve their communication skills and build their empathy. By getting to know other children and learning how they navigate their emotions, your kids can learn to communicate their feelings and treat others. This is especially helpful for children that haven’t entered school yet.

You can encourage learning these soft skills by scheduling playdates and networking with other parents. You can also take your children to different playgrounds around your community so they can experience getting to know people of all backgrounds and belief systems.

3. Boost Overall Health

Being active means maintaining or getting back to a healthy weight. It also includes the benefit of gaining muscle. As kids play and hang from different playground equipment, they’re building strength and improving their dexterity.

Likewise, sun exposure helps kids grow. Vitamin D gained from the sun means a child develops stronger bones and is less likely to contract chronic diseases. Vitamin D also helps kill bacteria and can snuff out some sicknesses.

4. Improve Focus

No child has been capable of sitting still all day without acting out or losing their focus. Schools have recess for that very reason — to allow children to play and move around so they can pay better attention when they return.

Being outside gives kids a break from focusing intently on things. Nature improves your state of mind and refreshes you, so by taking your kids out to play, you’ll be reaping the benefits of being outside, too. Additionally, the bright light of the sun can help kids concentrate. Following up a play session with an educational lesson should prove fruitful, and your children should be ready to learn again once they settle down.

5. Build Lasting Habits

Being outside can help kids build habits that will continue into adulthood. If they want to be outdoors, you should encourage that behaviour and accompany them out to play. Teaching them that the outside world is an exciting place to be could make them more likely to be healthy and active as adults.

Similarly, trusting them to play outside can help build independence in your children. Because they’re playing in a larger area, they have a taste of freedom that they can’t get indoors. Letting them go outside under your watchful eye allows your child a bit more independence in a world that’s regulated mainly by you. They’ll feel safe as well as encouraged to explore.

Let Your Kids’ Imaginations Run Wild

By allowing your kids to explore the world around them, whether by following bugs and animals or exploring playground equipment, you’re promoting their growth in all its forms. They’ll increase their strength and agility, learn to get along with others and develop an appreciation for nature.

When you make yourself a factor by supervising or jumping right in and playing with them, you teach your children they can talk to you and trust you. They see you’re willing to take part in their lives, and your bond will only strengthen over time as a result. You’ll also build memories that will last a lifetime, and that’s worth so much.

This is a collaborative post

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