WHY PLAYING OUTSIDE IS CRUCIAL FOR YOUR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT
In 2005, author Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder.” This isn’t a technical medical term but it basically refers to the distance between children and their outdoors. Kids are spending less time playing outside, in nature, and in unstructured play where their imaginations can develop and creativity can grow.
While this isn’t a technical term, it actually is super important and can affect your child in a medical sense. With little time spent outside in nature, childhood depression, adhd and childhood obesity are running rampant in the next generation. Believe it or not, Vitamin D that you get directly from the sun (or from playing outside) is proven to decrease those things and boost your child’s mood. Not only will it boost their mood, but they play harder and are more tired at the end of the day causing them to sleep better and this turns into a whole cycle of positivity.
Remember when you were little and your mom used to say to you “go outside and play”. It was as simple as that. Just go out and play. You don’t need an activity to do, make something up! Encourage your little ones to play in the dirt, encourage them to get dirty and pick flowers and find bugs and all kinds of good stuff! I’d you haven’t heard “a little dirt never hurt anyone” then now is the time!
I once read that if you’re little one isn’t in a good mood, put them in the bath or take them outside and it solves everything. Water and fresh air are good for the soul. Your soul and mine, but also our littles!
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, “research has shown that regardless of race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, early childhood experiences in nature significantly influence the development of lifelong environmental attitudes and values.”
Research also shows that kids who play outside turn into happier adults.
CALL TO ACTION
I am NOT condemning you for being inside, I’m not saying you’re a bad parent, I’m really not even telling you what to do. I’m just challenging you along with challenging myself to get outside. Get outside and make a garden, go for a nature walk, print off a nature scavenger hunt, play tag, eat your meals outside, go for a hike, have a sunset dinner where you watch the sunset in the back yard, flip over rocks in your yard and look for worms! Whatever it is, just do it! Do anything outside. I promise you will feel better after you get that mood boosting vitamin D and that invigorating fresh air into your system.
Who’s with me??