Take it outside, play outdoor today
Sussie is watching her favourite Peppa Pig program on the television. Susan sits focused on her computer screen. Suzanne is enthusiastically playing games on her mobile phone. What do these common sights have in common? They are all taking place indoors. This has become more typical in the lives of Singapore children. And this disturbing trend is unhealthy. Tons of researches have shown that children who play outdoors regularly are happier, healthier and stronger; yet few are taking it outside. WHY?
There are many reasons but among all, the most common reason is – lack of time. Parents these days work day in and day out. You can practically work anywhere with a smart phone; and so most parents have little time to supervise outdoor play or take their children out to a playground.
Try to take an hour or two off from work over the weekends. Keep your smart phone in your drawer and entertain the never ending emails later. Take your children out to play, and you will realise the importance of outdoor play and how they contribute to learning.
BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR PLAY
There are many reasons why kids should play outside. Sure, playing outdoor is fun (and some times tiring for the adults), but it brings many health benefits, both physical and mental health benefits.
Children becomes fitter and leaner
Outdoor play gives children the opportunity to run, jump, climb, swim, dance, and more, all of which provide aerobic exercise and strength training.
Develop stronger immune systems
Outdoor physical activity also strengthens the immune system and improves vitamin D levels, which can provide protection from osteoporosis and health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. It is recommended that children get moderate to vigorous activity that adds up to at least an hour per day.
A study reported by Optometry and Vision Science found that children who spend time outside have better distance vision than those who primarily play indoors.
Help kids learn to interact with and understand the natural world
Taking it outside gives children contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather. Playing and learning outside also helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of human, animals, plants and lifecycle.
Have a more active imaginations and play more creatively
Unstructured outdoor play promotes creativity, which children can apply to their academic learning, helping them see the material in another way.
Offers a chance for more social interaction with peers
When children play with other children outdoors, it encourages their social development. Play gives children opportunities to learn how to work in groups, including learning how to share, how to negotiate and how to resolve conflicts.
Increases attention span
Outdoor play has been shown to help children focus better in a classroom setting, increase attention span and to enhance readiness for learning, easing the transition to school.
TAKE IT OUTSIDE, PLAY OUTDOOR TODAY
So what are you waiting for? Let’s take it outside!
We take the kids out everyday! Sonia goes running in the evening at least twice a week (more, if the weather is good), and we head down to the outdoor playground whenever we can. Sometimes we grab the skate scooters and go out for a ride about the pool (don’t worry, I make them keep a safe distant from the water). And other times, we just head out for a walk.
This evening, we decide to take it outside at the PLAYGROUND!
So my children climb…
We had an awesome day and I really love their cute rosy cheeks after a good hour of outdoor play!
Take it outside, MORE!