Playtime is an important part of a child’s upbringing, as it helps them develop healthy habits. However, kids shouldn’t only be mingling with their peers during playtime. Parents are also encouraged to play outdoors to help build a lasting relationship with their kids.
Benefits of playing outdoors
Families who play outdoors together become closer to each other. There are many benefits to encouraging your kids to play outside. If you allow your kids more time to play outdoors, you’re allowing them to test their physical limits, express themselves properly, as well as build their self-confidence.
A better understanding can be formed between parents and kids who play outside together. Care.com listed some of health benefits ofoutdoor play, stating that spending time outdoors is a “huge outlet for stress.” It’s relaxing, as well as it is healing. With reduced stress levels due to playing outdoor activities, the relationship between parents and kids can grow stronger. In addition, the article mentioned that kids who play outdoors have a longer attention span.
Getting your child outdoors
Some kids prefer staying indoors due to the influence of technology. When you’re having a hard time getting them outside, try to be more creative when it comes the sort of outdoor activities you plan for them.
Playing sports with your children can create a stronger bond and allow you to teach your children healthy habits. The Association for Applied Sport Psychology claims that children see parents as role models and will be inspired if they see their parents playing a sport or engaging in a physical activity. Sport is also a great way to communicate with your children without talking. Just the act of engagement can be a form of good communication.
If, however, playing sports isn’t in line with your children’s interests, you can try to tap into their inquisitiveness. Kids are naturally curious and love to help the adults around them. Therefore, try and engage in an outdoor activity that really interests them. Outdoor gardening, for one, is a really fun and healthy activity where kids can find learn about nature.
Tootsa suggests allowing your kids to have their own space in the garden, as well as letting them design their very own plant pots to give them a sense of belongingness. Keep a diary and write down things that interest your kids. Encourage them to stay active, and help them nourish their gardening skills.
Boosting their creativity
Recent studies suggest that nature can help the brain become more creative. A researcher from the University of Utah says that people who spend more time outdoors are generally more creative than those who prefer staying inside.
“People have been discussing their profound experiences in nature for the last several 100 years—from Thoreau to John Muir to many other writers,” says David Strayer, the aforementioned researcher from the University of Utah. “Now we are seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.”
In the study, Strayer and his colleagues revealed that hikers who went on a 4-day backpacking trip were able to significantly solve more puzzles requiring creativity compared to the ones who stayed indoors. The camaraderie of being out together, as well as surrounding themselves with nature, played an important role in making the outdoor group think more creatively. The same theory can be applied to you and your child, so encourage them to play outdoors as much as possible.
Playing outside with your kids not only allows you to strengthen your bond with them. It will also allow your kids to be healthier, and more creative.
Exclusively written for bridges2understanding.com
by JenAndPlay. JenAndPlay is a lifestyle blogger and mum. One area that she is keen to address is the increasing prevalence of digital devices in a child’s life. She hopes that through her work, she can encourage more parents to make sure their children enjoy life away from the screen. In her free time she likes to go cycling with her family.
To learn successful parent-child communication skills, contact Cynthia Klein.
2017 Cynthia Klein, Bridges 2 Understanding, has been a Family Success Coach since 1994. She works with parents and organizations who want more cooperation, mutual respect and understanding between adults and children. Cynthia presents her expertise through speaking, private parenting coaching sessions, and her book, Ally Parenting: A Non-Adversarial Approach to Transform Conflict Into Cooperation. She works with parents of 5 – 25 year-old children.
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