The Benefits of Outdoor Play

Does it seem like your kids are perpetually glued to a screen?  Between TVs, mobile phones, video games and laptops, it’s getting increasingly more difficult for kids to be kids.  When kids spend endless hours passively watching a screen, the transition to active and engaging pursuits becomes increasingly difficult.  The experts have shown repeatedly that one of the best ways to develop and stimulate young minds is through imagination and exploration. While so many video games and website tout an educational bent or component, nothing is more educational that old fashioned outdoor play.  Follow these tips to get your kids outside.  At first they might well complain quite violently, but soon enough, they’ll head outside on their own.  We all know this is the healthiest choice for mind and body. Chances are they secretly know it too!  As parent, we just have to steer them in the right direction and they can take it from there.


The first step is to be firm about limiting screen time to one hour per day.  Get out their active wear and kick them outside.  You might through in a new box of sidewalk chalk to spark some creativity or give them a bag of balloons and just wait for the hose to turn on. If they twiddle their thumbs, have them wash the car or go for a bike ride.  Kids that have spent years inside don’t know how to explore the woods or the fun a park or even their own back yard offers. This will take a few weeks. Pretty soon, your yard will become a hub of activity with neighborhood kids joining in the fun. Remind yourself, they’re getting their exercise, being creative and exploring. When other kids join them, they’re learning communication and negotiation skills. These things will go much further in promoting positive development than any video game ever will. Turn off the TV, put down the mobile phone and set an example. Spend time outside with your kids. Not only will you enjoy one another’s company, but you’ll be setting a great example.  Enjoy the great outdoors!

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