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The Benefits of Outdoor Play & Time In Nature for Children

February 3, 2023 by The Parrish Law Firm

97% of teachers say that outdoor play is critical for children to reach their full potential. As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want to give them the tools and resources they need to grow up healthy, happy, and well-adjusted. Research shows one of the best things we can do for our children is to encourage them to spend time outdoors and explore nature.

Let’s get into why:

  • Outdoor play and nature exploration offer a wide range of benefits for children, both physically and mentally. Being outside allows children to burn energy, take in fresh air and soak up vitamin D from the sun. All of these things help to promote good health and well-being.
  • Spending time outdoors also has a positive impact on children’s mental and emotional well-being. Being in nature has proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression in children as well as adults. Becoming more connected to nature can improve children’s mood, self-esteem, and overall sense of well-being.
  • Nature also provides children with endless opportunities for learning and discovery. Children can learn about plants, animals, and the environment. They can explore, experiment, and use their imagination. Spending time outdoors can help your kids develop important skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity.
  • Another educational experience revolving around outdoor play and nature exploration is that it helps kids develop an appreciation and a connection to the natural world. Spending time outside helps to foster a sense of stewardship and responsibility for the environment. Children who have a positive relationship with nature are more likely to grow up to be environmentally conscious teenagers and adults. To further lean into this,  expose your children to different ecosystems and habitats. This helps children to learn about the diversity of life on earth and better understand the different ways of protecting the outdoors. 

In order to reap the benefits and to encourage children to spend more time outdoors and explore nature, parents need to make it a priority to set aside time each day for outdoor play. This can be as simple as going for a walk in the park or playing in the backyard. Parents can also plan regular nature outings, such as hiking trips or camping trips, to help children connect with nature on a deeper level. We recommend inviting one of your kid’s friends along to double the fun! 

Bonus Tip: Make sure that children have the right gear and clothing for outdoor activities. This includes: comfortable shoes, warm clothing, appropriate outerwear, long socks, bug spray, sunscreen and more. We like to keep an adventure bag handy in our trunk for a spontaneous occasion! 

In conclusion, outdoor play and nature exploration are essential for children’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It offers endless opportunities for learning and discovery, and helps children to develop an appreciation and connection to the natural world. Parents can encourage this by making sure to set aside time each day for outdoor play and planning regular nature outings. By providing children with the opportunity to explore and learn from nature, we are helping to ensure that they grow up to be healthy, happy, and environmentally conscious adults.

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