Importance of Outdoor Time for Children to Thrive and Shine
If your child spends most of his time indoors, you might want to consider encouraging him to also get some much-needed outdoor time for his mental and physical well-being.
If you really think about it, your child is probably cooped up indoors most of the week and barely gets enough sunshine and outdoor time.
From travelling back and forth to school every day on a bus or by car, to sitting there in the classroom for half the day, and then back home again to do homework and rest.
But just how important is it for kids to get adequate outdoor time and will it really affect his growth and development if he doesn’t spend enough time outside?
Benefits of outdoor time
This generation of kids have easy access to mobile devices where they can play online games endlessly. Or they watch all the latest cartoons and children’s programmes on TV. They also have the luxury of playing at an air-conditioned indoor playground away from the natural elements and unpredictable weather.
But there are many benefits to getting some outdoor time too, such as:
Good for eyesight
In Singapore, more than half of young children are short-sighted, or suffer from myopia.
But getting enough sunshine outdoor time will help to prevent your child from this eye problem.
Improves grades and behaviour
If you want your child to do well in school, there needs to be a good balance between studying indoors all day long and going outside and getting exposure to greenery.
This could help your child to do better in school and also improve his relationship with peers.
Maintains strong bones
Your kid needs Vitamin D, which helps with bone health, maintains strong bones and prevents rickets.
Certain foods contain this important nutrient, but most people can get enough Vitamin D from exposure to sunshine during outdoor time.
If junior seems to be overwhelmed by all his homework assignments, enrichment classes, and household chores, it’s time you usher him outside to curb his stress.
A study has shown that being close to nature will help your little one to think clearly and also build his resilience against stress.
Children who are overweight or obese have an 80% chance of growing up to become overweight or obese adults in future.
Engaging in enough physical activities and outdoor play can help to prevent childhood obesity and will aid your child’s physical development as well as his general sense of well-being.
Increases attention span
It is recommended that kids get plenty of outdoor time in settings with lots of greenery, such as parks and open fields.
Family activities for outdoor time
There are all sorts of fun activities you can take part in with your kids outdoors as a whole family, including:
- Having a picnic
- Swimming at the beach or outdoor pool
- Flying a kite
- Hiking or taking a nature walk
- Outdoor playground
- Have an outdoor BBQ
- Going to the zoo or bird park
- Dining at an alfresco restaurant