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Is your child playing outdoors? Importance of outdoor play!

Parenting & Kids
Contributed by : Dr. Sejal Shah
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Is your child getting time to play outdoors? Or has playing moved indoors?Playing outdoors is vital, just like food, clothing, shelter and a good night's sleep; it's an essential part in child development and helps children reach their full potential. It plays an important part in overall development. But outdoor playtime is now reducing and is switched by screen time- in front of the television, computer or various gaming devices.
Importance of outdoor play
Helps children build social skills: outdoor playing with same age children helps them share, and cooperate with each other, which is very essential in adult life.
Builds motor skills: Outdoor play builds their motor skills, and improves learning.
Helps them exercise through physical activity: exercise is very essential for both the mind and the body, playing outdoors gives them the needed exercise, keeps them active and healthy. It burns calories and makes them fit.
Keeps them connected with nature: Kids learn to connect with nature and learn about, seasons, senses and environment.
Helps them be creative: Outdoor play helps them imagine and learn things in a creative way. They come up with different forms of creative art and love to use their imagination. They learn to observe nature which helps to think in more innovative ways.
Keeps them away from boredom: Activities like skipping, cycling, swimming, keeps them happy and entertained and keeps boredom away.
It increases their performance in school: Fresh air and physical exercise improves their concentration as well as increases their performance.
Learn to explore new things: It helps them explore new ideas and the skill of risk taking; they also learn to save the environment.
Outdoor fresh air and sunshine: Vitamin D is essential for bone development, playing outdoors gives them the required amount of Vitamin D.
Helps them learn rules and learn to follow them: Outdoors games help them learn about rules and regulations, which gives them a good balance in life.
Did you know?
The average American boy or girl spends more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen.No doubt children are facing obesity problems and are having a difficult time solving critical thinking problems.
The shift to Indoor Screen time has:
The shift to an indoor childhood has increased in the past decade and has led to a decline in outdoor activities such as swimming, soccer, basketball and cycling.
Research shows in the 1960s, 4% of kids were overweight. Today, 16% are overweight, according to the CDC. It can be seen in their brains. Studies indicate that children who spend lots of time outdoors have longer attention spans than kids who watch lots of television and play video games, says Frances Kuo, director of the Human-Environment Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The American Academy of Pediatrics'' recommendation that parents limit screen time to no more than two hours per day includes television, videos/DVDs, and video games. If your child currently plays several hours of video games each day, either through a video game console or handheld device, you''ll want to put a plan in place to limit video games at home and replace that time with other activities.
Encourage your child to play outdoors! Let them enjoy nature and stay in shape.


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