If you know us, you know that we love the outdoors. I mean, we all love hanging out inside playing games or watching movies but there is a happiness that can be seen on our faces as soon as we get outside among the trees.
Of course, sometimes it's just easier to let the kids watch TV or play on the tablet after school with so many things that we need to get done but we try really hard to ensure we balance the inside with the outside.
And it's a good thing too because it is estimated that in the US (and it's probably similar here), that children have lost 25% of playtime and 50% of unstructured outdoor activity over recent decades.
Seriously? That can't be good.
Anyway, here are seven reasons why getting outside is good for your kids and as the dreary months come upon us, I think these reasons become even more important.
Exposure to nature can reduce stress levels by as much as 28% in children.
Even a 20-minute walk in nature can help children with attention deficit hyper activity disorder (ADHD) concentrate better.
Outdoor exercise improves mental and physical well-being more so than indoor activity.
Children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to be overweight by 27 to 41%.
Children who spend time outside have better distance vision than those who primarily play indoors.
Getting kids outside and having unstructured play with others helps them learn social skills, executive functions and behavioural skills.
Exposure to sunlight increases the body’s natural production of Vitamin D3. Children who are outside create more of this vitamin, which is important for bone and muscle development.
Of course, there are many more reasons kids should play outside, from expressing creativity to running freely to making messes without worrying about dirtying the house but when it comes down to it, it's good for them. And us.