In today’s increasingly technology-dependent world, children are spending more time on screens indoors than ever before. One recent study found that children between the ages of two and 10 spend an average of 18.6 hours per week engaging in screen-based play, but only 10.6 hours per week enjoying the outdoors. By encouraging your little ones to put down the devices and head outside, you’ll boost healthy child development. This simple guide details why and how you can help your child.
The Importance of Outdoor Play for Children
Why Should Children Play Outside?
Regular play outside all year round has been shown to enhance child development in multiple ways. By staying active outdoors, children will improve their physical fitness, promote immunity, and boost healthy vitamin D levels. This time will also help children unwind, reducing stress levels and improving their attention spans in school. Outdoor games support social development, as children cooperate, share, and invent games with their peers. Your child will experience these benefits in the short term while developing lifelong healthy habits and an appreciation for the outdoors.
How Can Parents Make Outdoor Play a Priority?
While children often have a natural inclination to enjoy playgrounds and parks, parents have a key role in encouraging frequent outdoor play. Begin by finding an activity that you can enjoy as a family. Cycling – whether on two wheels or three – can be fun for children of many ages. Tossing a ball around the backyard, walks through the woods, or pushing your child on a swing set will all help them appreciate the magic of nature.
Reinforce your teachings by finding a child care center that appreciates the value of outdoor play. As you visit various child care facilities, ask the staff how often the children go outside. They should be able to provide a detailed overview of a typical daily schedule. Notice whether any classes are held outdoors at the time of your visit. By being selective, you’ll support healthy child development.
Looking for an enriching child care center for your family? The dedicated teachers at Northwest Children’s Center in Cromwell, CT, are devoted to child development and early childhood learning. Their programs encourage children to play, stay active, and learn in a hands-on way. All the degree-holding teachers at this child care center incorporate music, art, and the outdoors into their lessons, helping children thrive. To learn more about their programs, visit them online. You can also call (860) 635-3485 to begin the enrollment process for your child.