The Benefits of Outdoor Play: Why It's Better Than Indoor

Spending time in nature and natural light can do wonders for your mood and reduce stress and depression. Physical activity has similar benefits, often providing a sense of relaxation and encouragement. Outdoor exercise stimulates all five senses in a way that indoor activities can't. Research suggests that outdoor play increases children's attention span in the long term. Exercise and physical activity have been consistently shown to improve mental well-being and ADHD symptoms.

Sunlight is also an excellent source of vitamin D, which is important for heart and bone health. By engaging your children in physical activities, you prepare them for an active lifestyle, helping them maintain healthy weight and habits. The California Air Resources Board also estimated indoor air pollutant levels to be between 25 and 62 percent higher than levels. Just a little fresh air and sunshine can help increase your attention span. Researchers at the University of Illinois evaluated 17 children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), before and after walking 20 minutes in the park.

Children were able to concentrate better after walks in “green areas”, compared to walks in other environments. Outdoor Time Benefits Your Mental Well-Being, Scientists Say. It naturally increases levels of serotonin in the brain, the “feel good” neurotransmitter. In a 2002 study, scientists measured serotonin levels in a group of 101 healthy men during each of the four seasons and found that, regardless of the season, the level of serotonin in the brain was affected by the amount of sunlight on a given day. Spending Time in Nature Can Boost Your Confidence. There is much less structure than most types of indoor play and they can choose how they interact with the surrounding nature.

This gives them practice in managing their own actions and encourages creativity and imagination. Putting toys and educational materials outdoors gives children the opportunity to learn new information and skills by playing. Along with the social and physical benefits of outdoor play, children who play outdoors tend to be stronger emotionally and process things more easily than children who don't have many opportunities to play outdoors. Recent studies have exposed the benefit, including the need to spend time outdoors, for both children and adults. You can make outdoor time interesting by incorporating your child's interests and hobbies into the activities you choose. While outdoor play differs as children grow and change, parents should remember that all outdoor games and activities are beneficial.

Whether it's a trip to a nature-inspired park or a walk in the woods with your family, there's no denying the advantages of playing outdoor games and getting away from screens while soaking up some sun. Spending time outdoors, which can be unpredictable, can help children learn to endure emotional and physical difficulties. Giving children options, especially outdoor play activities, allows them to break mental boundaries and discover passions they haven't yet discovered. Other studies have shown that the presence of nature helps prevent feelings of exhaustion and that 90 percent of people report increased energy when enjoying outdoor activities. Whether your child is 2 or 12, it's vital to encourage them to spend time away from screens enjoying the outdoors. One of the main benefits of outdoor play is that it allows children to learn by experience, allowing them to make sense of the world around them and use their imagination. Because they are in an open space without competition, children who spend more time outdoors generally feel less discouraged; having enough space to breathe and move can make children more comfortable opening up and sharing their feelings with trusted adults.

Then, once children enter school, you'll notice a much greater tendency to play and organize activities together, such as playing hide and seek or other outdoor activities. While there are many benefits to using technology for children, there are equal or more benefits to outdoor play. If you're like most parents, you probably already knew that your children tend to spend more waking hours in front of a screen than playing outdoors.