The CDC recommends that children get AT LEAST 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday. But aside from the obvious reason (exercise), why is outdoor play so important?
Improves Physical Development
Running, jumping, sliding, swinging, hopping, throwing…all of these are motor skills. When playing outside children get the chance to work on the gross motor skill development. Which is just as important as fine motor skills. Think about it…a 3 year old can typically hop on one foot for just a moment, but by age 5 that same child is standing still on one foot with their eyes closed! But you can’t just go from A to C without stopping by step B first!
While playing outside children get to be in the sun. Sunlight stimulates the pineal gland, which keeps the immune system strong! Children are also getting most of their Vitamin D through sunlight exposure.
Being out in the sun doesn’t just help children’s immune systems. It also helps to regulate their internal clocks, which can help them fall asleep easier at night.
Improves Social Development
Playing outside with other children gives kids a chance to work on their social and communication skills. It also gives children a chance to learn the value of diversity and empathy.
When children play outside regularly they are happier! They get to use their imagination more which leads them to being better playmates for their friends and better problem solvers later in life.
Gain Knowledge and Appreciation for Nature
One day our children will be the ones running the world! Don’t we want them to gain a knowledge and appreciation for the places they call home?
Outdoor play is ESSENTIAL for education.