Playing outdoors can be great for a child’s overall development!
Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this, says research. It can depend on what kind of activities kids participate in when they’re outside or even the location where they play.
Still, children should be encouraged to play outdoors to get a myriad of benefits. Read on to know more about the benefits.
Kids Get More Sunlight
Did you know more sunlight triggers the secretion of serotonin in our brain? Serotonin is a happy chemical that makes you feel good, excited, and happy. The benefits of natural light we encounter outside are way more than indoor lighting.
In fact, exposure to sunlight also ensures enough vitamin D, which influences muscle function, bone growth, and other important functions. Hence, kids should be exposed to outdoor games so that they can reap the benefits of sunlight.
Reduced Risk of Myopia
Although heredity plays a significant role in the development of nearsightedness, other factors can also contribute. Research suggests there’s a link between the development of myopia and outdoor exposure.
It suggests that kids who spend more time outdoors are less likely to get affected by myopia than others. It can also prevent or even delay the development of nearsightedness.
They Become Physically Fit
In a study of preschoolers in daycare, each child was given an accelerometer and a GPS device to track their movements the entire day. When the results came out, researchers suggested that outdoor play had a significant impact on children’s physical activity levels.
Thus, parents should send their kids to outdoor areas with commercial playground equipment as they are safer and last longer than steel playground equipment. Playing outside can also boost their cognitive skills like behavioral development, decision making, and mental clarity.
Psychological Benefits of Spending More Time in Nature
When kids play outside, they get to spend more time with nature. And it’s pretty evident how beneficial nature can be for human beings, including kids. There are some special nature experiences that have a restorative effect.
Various experimental studies have shown that walks in nature can have short-term improvements in mood change and stress reduction. It also sharpens their concentration power and decision-making abilities.
Promotes Quality Sleep
Many people claim that outdoor play increases the time a child sleeps at night. That might not be completely true. Studies suggest no direct relationship between outdoor play and their sleeping hours. However, spending more time outdoors may increase their time in bed by a few minutes. And that too, they are not sleeping; instead just lying down longer.
That being said, moderate to vigorous outdoor activities can significantly enhance the quality of sleep. Your kid may go to bed early and enjoy a sound sleep.
Wrapping It Up
Spending more time outside is a fantastic way for kids to exercise without increasing their physical activity level.
However, too much exposure to bright light can make the kids feel dehydrated and low on energy. Make sure you send them outdoors, all prepared with their water bottles and snacks to munch on.