The great outdoors is one giant playground for kids big and small.
Here are 5 reasons to encourage your kids to play outside today—and all year round!1. Improve motor skills
Climbing trees, shovelling sand, balancing on logs– they’re all activities that activate your child’s core and enhance their motor skills.
(If you notice that your child has ongoing trouble with balance and coordination, it may be worth consulting an Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist. )
2. Strengthen muscles and bones
All that physical activity leads to stronger bones and muscles, as well as less fat tissue. It can even lead to better bone outcomes later in life.
So, look at outdoor play as an investment in your kid’s future health!
3. Exercise eye muscles
A trip to the park can be a great workout for eyes. Time outdoors has been linked to decreased onset and progression of near-sightedness because it forces eyes to look at objects from a distance.
Small doses of protected indirect sun exposure (with sunglasses on) plays a part in eye health, too.
4. Boost vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is essential for bone growth and development. Kids get most of theirs from sunlight and a small amount from food such as yoghurt and fatty fish.
How much sunlight is enough to reap the benefits?
In Melbourne from May to August, 2-3 hours a week should be enough. A few minutes outside most days should do the job during summer months.
(Just don’t forget the sunscreen, sunglasses and hat!)
5. Improve concentration
Studies have shown that ‘doses of nature’—meaning time spent outdoors—can improve a child’s attention span and reduce stress. Researchers found concentration levels improved in kids with ADHD after they took a 20-minute walk in the park.
You can read the study here.
Looking for new outdoor spaces to explore in the Yarra Ranges?
Follow this link to search for reserves, swimming pools, playgrounds or sports grounds near you.