Why Is It Important for a Child to Play Outside
Getting some sunshine and exercise is important for your child’s immune system and bone development. Sunshine also helps children (and we parents as well) get a healthy sleep and be in a good mood. After all, we humans have evolved to be outdoors and interact and adapt to the outside environment.
Why is it important for a child to play outside
It’s just hard to be physically active indoors. Children can instead use smartphones and other electronic devices to stay busy. The result is they become inactive and passive. Aside from the lack of physical exercise and activity, they will also lack real-world learning. This will then affect their cognitive and creative development.
Staying indoors can prevent them from seeing, smelling and touching different objects. Although it’s safer indoors, that high level of safety can also prevent your child from taking risks and figuring things out. Even with lots of educational toys your child can play with indoors, there’s still no substitute for a rich outdoor environment. This is an environment where your child can actively explore, solve problems and play with other children.
It’s true that the internet is a rich source of information. However, it’s recommended to limit your child’s exposure to it. More hours on the internet also means fewer hours for outside play. Furthermore, there’s no actual risk taking and problem solving and most likely only your child’s sense of sight is being used. In contrast, playing outside requires your child to use his/her sense of sight, smell, hearing and touch.
Letting your child play outside also helps develop his/her appreciation of nature. Perhaps you still remember the time when you’re excited about going to the beach or having a picnic. Things have changed because we now prefer staying indoors because it’s safer and more convenient (we’re now spending less and less time outside). As a result, we lower our appreciation of nature.
We should not let that happen to our children. They will be missing out on a lot of things (such as how the grasses and sand felt as well as how the flowers really look and smell like). When we expose our children to nature and outdoors, it’s an amazing opportunity for them to appreciate what’s outside, learn to explore and figure things out and gain fun memories they can bring with them for decades. It’s also about letting our children have a full life and this is only possible if we allow them (and ourselves) have fun outside.