Go Play Outside!

295292_10151064769948791_1786339914_nAs a child , when my friends and I were not in my backyard pool we were playing in the woods in our neighborhood. Those were some of the best days of my life.

We would spend hours unsupervised hiking on trails, climbing trees, walking in the creek, catching crayfish, getting dirty and playing hide and seek.  We never got hurt or hurt each other.  We respected each other, the creatures living around us and the environment. Despite being without all the modern technology available today, we all grew into smart, independent and caring adults. 296743_10150341199488791_276201106_n

Playing outside in nature allowed us to burn off energy, develop our fine and gross motor skills, learn about our natural environment, get fresh air and reduce stress. It also helped us develop important  skills in a hands on way such as teamwork, trust and problem solving  skills. These skills are not learned while sitting in front of a screen.

There are hundreds of pages of reports with information on the many benefits of children being allowed unstructured play time in nature and the negative effects (both physical and psychological) of children who spend too  much time in front of a screen.

As a former teacher it was very obvious in my classroom which children spent most of their time at home in front of a screen compared to the children who had minimal or no screen time. The children who had the most screen time were severely delayed in social skills, language, had difficulty concentrating and were less motivated to learn compared to the children with the least amount of screen time.

Unfortunately  today in some areas it is no longer safe or practical to allow children to roam free as did the kids of my generation but that is no reason to deny children time outside in nature. 1932232_10152030823838791_1481896414_n

So, grab your kids and get outside to play, being in nature is good for adults too!

(below are 2 articles about the benefits of children playing outside in nature)

 

 

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/05/kid_play_zones_in_parks_leave_no_trace_inhibits_fun_and_bonding_with_nature.single.html

http://www.nwf.org/be-out-there/why-be-out-there/health-benefits.aspx

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3 thoughts on “Go Play Outside!

    1. I agree, my kids grew up in the country. We tried moving to the city for a few years and it was horrible. My son kept saying “mommy, why can’t I go out the back door and just go?” We are back in the country (small town) and we have never been happier.

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