The Benefits of Play
Encouraging Play for Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts
Outdoor playtime is fun- It simply is. For kids, it can be the best part of the day to run on green grass in the sunshine on a warm summer day, but did you know how much outdoor playtime can benefit your child? Here are six simple reasons why you should encourage playtime for your kids.
With childhood obesity rates exponentially greater than they were a few decades ago, it’s more important than ever to teach your kids healthy habits at a younger age. Encouraging playtime throughout their childhood can be an easier task than encouraging them to eat broccoli and Brussel sprouts. Healthy and happy kids will see long-term effects like significantly reduced rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and many types of cancer.
An outlet for the imagination, energetic kids can explore what’s beyond the confines of their bedrooms. Kids can invent games, role-play with friends, and act out their wildest imaginations. Playgrounds are the perfect setting for creativity. From pirate ships to castle turrets, let their imaginations soar.
Playtime with friends teaches kids essential social skills that they don’t otherwise get from just siblings and classmates. Sharing toys, taking turns on a swing set, and learning patience establishes valuable relationship skills, and encouraging friends and teammates, organizing rules, and settling arguments teaches kids communication skills that will carry them far in life. Playtime can help teach kids learn social boundaries and good sportsmanship, and it can help encourage shy little ones to experience different social relationships.
Between schoolwork, team sports, music lessons, family time, and chaotic siblings, being a kid can be stressful. With the pressures of life and growing up, even kids face enough stress to require an outlet. Regular physical activity and exercise regulate stress and anxiety, which in turn can help enhance emotional and mental health as well as create a self-esteem boost.
Builds Motor Skills
Strategizing games and new routes around a playground requires as much creativity as it does logical thinking. It can also help sharpen a child’s ability to hone and focus on a task. This growth of this skill can help kids on the playground and with their education in the classroom. Playtime is essential in helping children build and fine-tune their motor skills of balance and coordination, as well as improving bone and muscle development.
Reconnect with Nature
In an age where innovative technology is at our fingertips, kids have even more distractions from physical activity. More technology, coupled with the reduction of recess, physical education class and organized sports in schools, it’s more important than ever for kids to reconnect with outdoor play.
Encourage kids to spend time in the wild green grass of their own backyards. Experts say that children should be encouraged to have 90 minutes of physical activity a day. Benefits are endless, ranging from improved physical, emotional, and mental health to fostering creativity and curiosity in little ones. Encourage kids to join sports, go on bike rides and hikes, explore beaches and parks, and reconnect with nature. You can make achieving 90 minutes of playtime even easier by having a Rainbow Play System right in your child’s backyard!