In the last two decades, childhood has moved indoors. The average American boy or girl spends only 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day, but more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen. Outdoor play is great for the mind, body, and spirit of the developing child.
Things to think about:
- Spending time outside raises levels of Vitamin D, helping protect children from future bone problems, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.
- Being outside may be widely effective in reducing ADHD symptoms.
- Play protects children’s emotional development and allows them to be creative. Loss of free time and a hurried lifestyle can contribute to anxiety and depression.
Get outside by walking or biking to school, forming an outdoor playgroup with other families, creating a scavenger hunt, or enlisting kids’ help with yard chores and gardening!
Try this Activity Finder that lists outdoor activities by age, cost, length of time and difficulty!
Visit the Leopold Wetland Management District—and if your kids insist on bringing their electronics, challenge them to a photography contest!
Source: National Wildlife Federation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(post the video to pages)
Give your kids a boost for their mind, body, and spirit! Be Out There and play!