Today, there are many things to keep children indoors. Between streaming movies and TV shows, video games, and other digital distractions, some children may be tempted to spend the entire day indoors without ever stepping foot outside.
That’s not always the best approach. If the weather allows, most kids should be encouraged to play outdoors at least a few hours each day. While spending time on indoor activities can be fun, too much of a good thing isn’t always the best.
Being Active Outside
Old fashioned things like breathing fresh air and spending time playing outside with friends are still some of the healthiest, most wholesome things children can do. Being physically active helps children’s bodies develop, building strong muscles and bones and developing their motor skills.
Socializing with other children exercises their brain and helps them develop the social skills they will need in school and in the real world as adults.
Exploring the Natural World
The outdoors also helps children develop an appreciation for the natural world — even if it’s only their own backyard. Looking at the clouds, feeling the sun on their skin, and digging in the dirt or rolling in the grass create genuine connections between children and nature.
And when they become accustomed to playing outdoors either by themselves or with friends and/or siblings, children can develop a lifelong appreciation for nature as well as a curiosity about the world around them. It may even lead to a career in science or the arts when they get older.
As long as the weather cooperates and conditions are safe, children should be encouraged to play outside as much as possible. Obviously, small children need to be properly supervised. But spending outside time with their friends is one of the most valuable things children can do with their day.