Outdoor activities are essential for children's development, but children are spending less time outdoors mostly due to a focus on structured, academic-oriented activities and an overabundance of screen-based entertainments.
Outdoor play provides a great many benefits for children past the basics of fresh air and sunshine. It:
improves physical development: ie, physical coordination and movement of the body. When children play outdoors, they increase their ability to balance, jump, climb, throw, run and skip.
improves social development: children gain social skills by interacting, collaborating, and negotiating with others.
increases imagination: children can pretend to be anything they want; for example, to be a bear in the wild or a chef in the kitchen.
increases knowledge of and appreciation for the natural world: children learn about the natural elements and their surroundings when they are outside.
So grab your and your child's shoes and get outside for a while every day. Whether you explore your back yard or head to your local playground, both of you will benefit: outdoor time is great for grownups too!