Playing outdoors is a form of exercise that promotes well-being and wholesome physical development. Children are naturally drawn to active play outdoors: it allows them to explore their environment, develop muscle strength and coordination, and gain self-confidence.
Experts say that kids between 12 to 36 months old should get at least 30 minutes of structured physical activity (adult-led) and at least 60 minutes of unstructured physical activity (free play) every day. And toddlers shouldn’t be inactive for more than 1 hour at a time, except when they’re sleeping.
You know it, I know it, we all know it: play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.
Play is an important part of healthy emotional development. Children use play to release emotions, work through feelings, and understand their world better by play-acting in situations they can control.
Here are 6 ways you can get your kids to play outside!
1. The Park
The easiest way to get your kids to play outside is by visiting your local park. It’s fun, it’s free and it’s convenient. Plus, your kids don’t realize that they are getting in a whole lot of exercise by simply going up and down the multiple slides, climbing a rock wall or simply running around with their friends.
2. The Backyard
Not everyone is fortunate to have a backyard in their house, but if you have one, use it! Your kids can use their own imagination to build the wildest fortress their dreams can create. Unfortunately, we forget to utilize the space that we have right in front of our very own noses.
Try to use your backyard to start a vegetable garden. Or create an area that will allow your children to do something as simple as read or complete their homework outdoors.
3. The Beach
If you live near the ocean, spend the day at the beach with your family. Or if you live near a lake, take the boat out, get your grill started and spend your Sunday afternoon enjoying what Mother Nature gives you for free.
Plus, your children will benefit from spending some time with a little surf, sand and sun (it’s the easiest way to get a little Vitamin D, too!). But not too much, of course.