“We were the last generation to play outdoors.”
Because technology had not happened then!
But the same doesn’t hold true today, when kids as young as six months are being exposed to iPads and mobile phones for a myriad of reasons – education, engagement, entertainment, etc. Not judging anyone here because I too am a mom, who gives my mobile to my kid or simply puts on her favourite cartoon on TV to steal some quiet moments. Having said that, I totally swear by the importance of ‘outdoor play’ and make sure that my child gets enough of the same. We have set a limit to screen time and never let it come in the way of getting messy outdoors for the simple reason that no matter how much a kid learns on screen, it cannot outweigh the benefits of active outdoor play.
Here are a few ways in which outdoor play can help your child:
1. Physical Development: Outdoor play gives your child the opportunity to hop, jump, run, climb and ride. Such high quality aerobics are necessary to build stamina and strength. Add to it an extra dose of the essential Vitamin D thanks to sunshine, outdoor play brings along many physical benefits including strong bones, better fitness levels, enhanced motor skills, muscle strength, increased flexibility and a disease-free life to name a few.
2. Sensory Development: With various sights, sounds and textures coming into action, when your child steps out to get dirty, unstructured outdoor play also aids in sensory development among kids.
3. Creativity & Imagination: As the child leaves the confines of his home or classroom, exploring the outdoor environment with a free mind and the associated new and unique experiences stimulate his/her imagination and quickly tap into their creativity.
4. Cognitive & Social Learning: When a kid steps out, he is not only exposed to new surroundings but also new people especially kids from different cultures. This exposure not only gives him a chance to open up socially and make new friends but also understand different cultures. Away from parental supervision, kids learn to use their own mind to make decisions and solve problems.
5. Confidence Boost: When a kid solves his own problems, wins a game or simply comes out of a tricky situation, it helps to boost his confidence and infuses him with positivity. This goes a long way in helping him grow into a successful adult.
With so many benefits coming your child’s way simply by spending a few hours outdoors, isn’t it a profitable trade-off with technology and screen time? I’m sure it is! So, pack your bags and head out to explore the outdoors with your kid. But before you do that, don’t forget to guard yourself and your child against the disease-causing mosquitoes. Try the 100% natural Goodknight Patches or the 4 dots of the Goodknight Fabric Roll-On – both of which are easy to use. These products by Goodknight are pediatrician certified and provide 8 hours of shield against the pesky mosquitoes! Happy playing!