23/04/2020 11:26 AM IST
Children are born with a lot of energy and they need direction at all times on how to use it. As children, our parents left us and most of the time we were found outside playing outdoor games like catch and cook, cricket, flying discs, badminton and more because they understood the importance of outdoor play. Parents needed to literally pull children back home at night for them to clean up and have dinner. However today times have changed and children spend a lot of time indoors. Thanks to technology, children have access to a lot of electronic devices and tend to prefer spending time on the computer, tab or gaming cosole. This has increased anxiety among parents, towards the attachment that children are building towards technology from an early age.
Hence it becomes even more important to spell out the importance of outdoor play for kids.
Summing up some of the key benefits of outdoor play for kids:
1. Exposure to Sunrays: Children need to be exposed to the rays of the sun. It is a natural provider of vitamin D and this vitamin is important for bone development and for the immune system. Parents, we encourage you to stop freaking about tans and let children be.
2. Immunity: Playing outdoors in the mud and getting dirty helps children in building immunity. Their bodies learn to combat different germs they might come in touch with. If we do not let children develop a strong immune system they will eventually fall sick very often because their system did not recognise the germs and viruses attacking them.
3. Builds Social Development Skills: When children play outdoors they interact with other kids, they learn to share their toys, to have fun and play together, this helps children develop social skills and they learn how to interact with peers.
4. Teamwork: Initially most children as good at what they do by themselves as they have not interacted with too many people yet. When children play outdoors and participate in group activities they learn teamwork. They learn to work together to win. This is a skill that is very important in the growing up years because eventually in life everything is about teamwork and collaborating.
5. Enhances Creativity: When outdoors, children are surrounded by a lot of other natural elements. This helps open children's minds. Children can let their imaginations go wild, which in turn helps in building creativity
6. Helps build a healthy body: Physical movement is essential for the body. We need some kind of activity to burn all the food we eat, to keep our limbs agile, physical activity also strengthens the body. When children are young we give them oil massages and move their limbs for this very reason, then why do we forget this basic point when children are growing up. Outdoor play boosts physical exercise and helps building a healthy body.
7. Cultivates the habit to explore: Children are curious about everything and they want to know about everything. When outdoors they want to explore all the more, they want to climb the tree, they want to play in the rain and more. It is good to let them explore nature and boosts their 'exploratory spirit'.
Now that we have listed out the importance of outdoor play, let your children spend atleast 1-2 hours outdoors every day. It is important to take precautions and be protective of your children however at the same time; children need to grow with their own set of experiences. They need to learn things on their own. So keep a watchful eye but let them be. Getting dirty is a part of growing up.