We all remember what it was like to play outdoors as children. We were free to get messy, run around to our hearts content, and use our wildest imaginations. I remember spending my summer days running around catching fireflies with neighborhood kids until nightfall, playing tag and rolling down hills. It felt amazing – and for good reason.
Studies show that playing outdoors instead of indoors positively impacts children’s mental and physical health (Clements, 2004; Bell and Dyment, 2006). Outdoor play stimulates the growth and development of the brain, helping kids to think clearer and enhancing their ability to learn. Studies also show that children sleep better after getting fresh air. Researcher Rhonda Clements states, “Outdoor play offers children opportunities to explore their community; enjoy sensory experiences with dirt, water, sand, and mud; find or create their own places for play; collect objects and develop hobbies; and increase their liking for physical activity.”
But times have changed. Kids are playing outside less and multimedia devices – cell phones, tablets and computers – are everywhere. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children are…(read the rest of the story)
Originally published on Utah Valley Health and Wellness