Five benefits of taking your kids to a park
Outdoor activities play a vital role in your child’s mental, physical and social development. Unfortunately, the childhood of this generation is very different from the previous ones.
The time children spend indoors has increased. According to a surveyfrom the U.K.’s National Trust, most children spend only four hours a week outside. Their parents logged 8.2 hours of outdoor activity when they were young.
You can ensure the health of your child by taking them to a park on a regular basis. Make sure they spend a good part of the day away from gadgets or screens. You will observe positive changes in their health and personality.
Let’s have a look at some of those benefits.
- Physical activity improves health:
The best way to keep your children healthy is to encourage physical activity. A simple exercise like running has lifelong benefits. It makes them stronger and protects them from problems like childhood obesity. The splendid green space offers children more room to run around and burn some energy. Several studies have shown that kids are more active when they are outside. The more often you take your kids to a park, the more active they will be. This will help them become fitter, stronger, healthier and smarter.
- Improved learning abilities:
Andrea Faber Taylor and Frances Kuo, doctoral candidates at the University of Illinois and other researchers conducted a studyin 2004 and found that children who spend more time outdoors display relatively less attention deficit symptoms.
According to M.D. Velarde, simply looking at the natural beauty has a positive impact on a person’s cognitive abilities. Taking your children to a park on a regular basis enhances their learning abilities. You can bring educational toys and equipment with you to help your children learn in a fun way. This will also help them realize that learning is not just confined in the classroom. It is an ongoing process.
- Improvement in mental health:
According to a recent studyfrom Aarhus University in Denmark, kids who spend the majority of their childhood around nature are at a lower risk of developing a range of psychiatric disorders as adults. Parks are also the best green spaces you can provide to your children for their psychological development.
Academic pressure makes your child more anxious. Outdoor games enable your child to challenge himself both physically and socially. He eventually learns to control his emotions on his own as a consequence of these pressures. Once he learns to regulate his emotions, he can prevent the development of depression and anxiety disorders.
- Absorption of vitamin D:
It’s important to expose your child to sunlight for the healthy development of bones. Having healthy bones is very important to live a healthy life. At the time of birth, the bones of babies are soft cartilage which later becomes hard. Calcium and phosphorus are two important mineral components that help in bone formation. In order to incorporate these two minerals into the bone, our body needs vitamin D.
The best natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. Therefore, it’s very important for your child to spend time playing outside for the proper development of bones. Taking your child to a park can suffice for his body’s vitamin D needs.
- Development of social skills:
According to Marti Erickson, PhD, a developmental psychologist and co-founder of the Children & Nature Network, parks are the best distraction from the hyper-stimulating world. They are the ideal places to let your child bond with you and socialize with other children.
Outdoor spaces like parks are less intimidating for children. They help them to come out of their shell and interact with other children. When your child takes part in outdoor activities and games with other children, he learns new social skills.
With the advent of technology, children’s exposure to electronic devices has increased preventing children from spending more time outside. Other factors that prevent children from spending time outdoors include scheduled activities, lack of safe neighborhoods, concerns about over-exposure to the sun, and academics occupying children’s play-time.
Let’s not forget that it’s not only the children who are spending more time indoors. Even the adults are finding it hard to take out some time and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
It’s best to spend at least one hour away from the work, screens, or normal hustle and bustle of life. It will help you and your children cope with the stress and fatigue that builds from a lack of physical activity.
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