Benefits of Outdoor Play

Studies are showing that the massive amounts of sedentary activities for children such as multiple forms of screen time are increasingly affecting their health. Childhood obesity is on the rise as well as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, depression, and adult onset diabetes which is so common among young children that health care professionals are calling it Type II diabetes. As many as 80 percent of preschoolers are not spending time outside each day. That is an alarming number.
What do kids learn outside? EVERYTHING! Outdoor play enhances social development, learning skills, and physical fitness as well as reduces stress and anxiety. It also helps children develop stronger immune systems. Studies show that outdoor play at a young age can even prevent the development of many allergies.
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Children tend to be more physically active outdoors since the terrain is more appropriate for running, jumping, and climbing. They are more creative outdoors using a wider variety of make believe play. In addition, children develop better social skills outdoors as the environment leads to less stress and pressure. They are more able to express themselves socially. Many studies have shown that children are more likely to be creative outdoors as well as are more able to concentrate on their school work after having time to play outdoors. And Vitamin D, which is critical for growth and development, is increased when spending time outdoors in the sun.
So do your best to get your kids outside for at least a few minutes every day. Their mind, body and soul will be better for it! And so will yours.

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