*Thanks to Emma for this fabulous guest post on the benefits of raising “outdoor kids”. Although we are a very techie family, we value outdoor time and the need for it in our daily life.
The way kids spend their time today has changed a lot compared to half a century ago. Our kids mostly stay indoors, watch TV, play computer games, or are consumed by one of many modern tech gadgets. There is little interaction with other kids and they don’t go outside much.
We feel the negative impact of this trend with the increase of obesity and the decrease of health and fitness in children. That’s why some progressive countries like the Scandinavian countries insist on having children play and learn outdoors as much as possible. In Finland for example, kindergarten kids play outside most of the time, even in the snow, rain and freezing temperatures, building resistance and immunity. There are many reasons why raising outdoor kids is a much healthier option.
Develop Physical and Motor Skills
There is no better place than outdoors for kids to develop their physical and motor skills. They can run, leap, jump, play ball, throw and catch and so on. They can push doll cots, pull wagons, learn how to cycle, roller skate, drive toy motor cars, or simply jump into puddles. All of these can be hard to do indoors even if there are gyms and special sports facilities they can use. But there is nothing like the real thing. Simply compare playing soccer inside and outside in the real field.
Prevent Diseases and Build-Up the Immune System
Children who play outdoors are also more fit and healthier than those who don’t. Running outside maintains good circulation and provides their brains with oxygen. This keeps their lungs and heart working properly and builds up the immune system. Growing up outdoors prevents heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and poor bone strength. Spinal health is also better with outdoor kids since they don’t sit in front of TV as much.
Attain Better Behavior and Less Stress
Children who play in natural settings are less stressed and show fewer signs of anxiety and depression. Their emotional health is better overall. They show more positive feelings towards each other. They are more collaborative, and all of this leads to better behavior. Bullying behavior is greatly reduced in nature-based environments and so are symptoms of ADHD and hyperactivity.
Learn About The Real World
Artificial environments like classrooms can never completely simulate the natural environments completely. Kids learn best by experiencing the real world. They learn about plants, animals, natural laws, and how things work in nature and real life. For example, pictures can’t replace seeing real ducks lay eggs and little ducklings hatch out and go into the water for the first time. Many parents are choosing natural settings to raise their kids in and are even building natural play gardens for their little ones at home.
Connect with Nature
In the words of Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori education method, “There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” Montessori tries to implement nature in children’s education via various outdoors learning environments. Outdoor kids develop their senses in nature, get in touch with beauty, and their lives and souls are enriched and deepened. They also enjoy creativity and learn how to be free and have fun in an unrestricted environment.[clickToTweet tweet=”Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein” quote=”Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better. – Albert Einstein”]
Raising outdoor kids in not only beneficial for the kids themselves, but for our society and the world in general. These kids are more likely to develop appreciation for our planet Earth and work towards preserving it and keeping it safe.
Author Bio: Emma Lawson is a teacher who is constantly improving her skills, both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that will help you lead a quality life. She is a regular contributor to High Style Life. You can follow her on Twitter @EmmahLawson.[social_warfare]