If play for play’s own sake is not enough reason for you, here are some benefits of outdoor play in spring as the weather gets better!
1. Vitamin D and Exercise:
Sun exposure in safe and healthy doses can be good for children. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption and the building of strong bones. It also modulates cell growth and immunity and reduces inflammation. Additionally, children are recommended to exercise daily, and outdoor play is a natural way to get in this daily dose of activity. Physical activity also has health benefits such as stress reduction and maintaining healthy cardiovascular and metabolic functioning.
2. Practicing Social Skills:
Most of the time when children are playing outdoors, they aren’t playing alone. Group games promote problem-solving skills, communication abilities, and the building of friendships.
3. Vision Improvements:
Some research suggests that outdoor play can actually promote better distance vision in children.
4. Boosted Immunity and Allergy Protection:
Exposure to germs outdoors, as well as environmental allergens like pollens and grasses, can actually boost these body systems. In fact, research shows that children with less exposure to germs and allergens are more likely to have adverse reactions and sensitivities.
5. Mental Health Benefits:
Time spent in nature is associated with better mental health for both children and adults. Furthermore, children with ADHD are better able to concentrate after spending some time outside, and as previously mentioned, outdoor play can contribute to stress reduction.
6. Conservation Benefits:
How can we expect children to love and care for the Earth if they haven’t learned to interact with it? Playing outside is a great jumping off point for having conversations with your children about environmentalism and being conscientious of our impact on the planet. Children with a higher sense of connection to nature are more likely to engage in pro-environmental behaviour.
7. The Right to Be a Child:
Lastly, children simply have the right to be kids. They have a right to play, learn, and enjoy! They should be allowed to run outside, use their imagination, expend their energy on things that interest them. Children have a right to play and a right to be outdoors.