Children are the future. But how do you make sure that they get the development they really need when they’re young? Every parent has a different idea on what’s appropriate for their children when it comes to what food to give them, how long you should let them sit in front of the TV or play with electronics, or how to handle their bad days. But research shows that one of the most important things you can do for your kids is let them play outside. It reaps all sorts of benefits for them and gives them skills they’ll need later in life.
Playing outside has been shown to help a child’s growth and development. And that doesn’t mean just letting them take the trash out to the trash cans at the end of your driveway but actually allowing them to go outside and play with a few friends or swing themselves on a tire swing in the backyard. Because children are naturally curious, it will give them a chance to safely go out and explore more of the world around them.
One of the largest reason that parents choose to keep their children happy with dozens of different toys and electronics is to keep them from being bored. However, studies have repeatedly shown that boredom can actually boost a child’s creativity. It allows them to make their own fun instead of having it be provided for them.
Another reason to let kids play outside is that it teaches them to be active from a young age. Today, less than a third of children are considered to be living a healthy lifestyle by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association. This only takes 25 minutes of high physical activity three times a week. So by allowing your children to leave the house and go play outside, they can easily reach that level of physical fitness. And if you don’t have a lot of space to play, you can always take them to the playground and let them get on a tube slide or build a castle in a commercial sandbox.
It’s also easy for children to build more meaningful relationships by playing outside. For instance, they learn about sharing and working together by playing in commercial sandboxes. Maybe their friend doesn’t want to build the same thing they did, but they’re learning how to share the space around them anyway. They learn to be kind to others, share the commercial sandbox, and play together with others in a way that parents can teach but takes practice to actually learn.
So whether you’re a new parent or newly pregnant, keep those thoughts in mind. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your child happy and give them building blocks they’ll need later on in life.