Summer was once a time for fishing, camping, exploring unknown areas, and playing in the yard with friends. With the rise of technology it is more important than ever before to get your kids outside, playing, and enjoying nature starting at a young age.
As kids we would play ghost in the graveyard, freeze tag, and ride our bikes around the neighborhood. We would play street hockey, basketball, and we’d even wake up early in order to play four square before school. Now kids watch TV, play on their iPads, and use their phones more often than not. It is hard to get kids to put down their technology, turn off the TV, and get outside, but it is important.
Many kids spend the summer hanging out indoors, while parents are at work or working on things around the house. If you know that you are not going to be able to help get your kids outside during the summer, sign them up for a summer camp. At Montessori School of Chantilly, we offer a summer camp that allows kids to learn, explore, and get outdoors.
Besides getting away from brainless tasks like watching TV, there are many reasons why getting your kids outside is important.
Developing Motor Skills
According to NCT.org, young children need the chance to use and develop gross motor skills, which in turn will help them with their fine motor skills. Being outside and having free rein to play, run, jump, and climb allows them to develop these gross motor skills.
Having this freedom to play as hard as they can also allows children to sleep and eat well which will help them form healthy habits that they will carry throughout their lives.
Teaches Confidence, Creativity, and More
In an article from Child Mind® Institute, they state that many studies show positive behavioral traits in kids who play outside more often. These kids tend to be smarter, happier, less anxious, and more attentive. They also discuss many things that show why nature is good for kids’ minds. Being in nature helps kids build confidence, promotes creativity, makes them think, teaches responsibility, and so much more.
When young children are playing outdoors, they have complete freedom over what they do, they don’t have to calmly play on the floor. They can run, climb trees, play on playgrounds, and interact with their surrounding environment. The may pretend they are in a jungle, or that dinosaurs lurk around every corner. They can learn how trees and flowers and grass are all living things, meaning they will die if mistreated. They will become aware of the environment and help activate the senses.
A child in nature is like a puppy in any new environment, they get excited to explore as much as they can, and learn something new. Kids will feel confident the more they get out and see the world. They will begin to understand how things interact with each other and how their actions can affect the things around them.
And one more benefit of getting kids outside is keeping them active. That is an obvious plus, but many people forget the importance of keeping kids active which is why we must bring it up once more. Even just passing a ball back and forth in the backyard is better than spending all day on the couch. A walk through the park is a good enough activity to get your kid’s blood pumping and will help them become more focused.
Care.com offers different reasons why getting outside can benefit a child—mentally and physically. These five major health benefits are improved vision, better social skills, increased attention span, reduced stress, and increased vitamin D levels.
Playing at a playground allows your children to interact with other kids—learning to share, developing different behavioral skills, and working of their social skills. This is a great way to get your kid to make new friends and figure out how to act while playing with others.
Being outside also allows kids to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from the sun, helping to prevent additional health problems in the future. Outdoor settings can also allow kids to explore more and help their attention span. Studies have shown that being outdoors can help reduce ADHD symptoms in children.
There are many developmental, physical, and mental benefits to getting your kids outdoors, whether it is a walk through the park, a hike, or a bike ride around town, getting your kids outdoors in anyway possible will help them in more ways than one. If you are too busy to get your kids up and out of the house, let us help. At Montessori School of Chantilly, your young kiddos can get outside, explore, learn, and make new friends. Learn more about our summer camp or contact us!