More and more studies are finding that allowing children to play outdoors can do wonders for their growth and development; but there are, of course, issues relating to safety, especially for families that live in urban city environments. As parents, how are we to find the best solution? Experts in child development are coming forward to promote outdoor play, but many are skimming over the problem that there are now fewer places to safely play outdoors than there were when we were kids. Fortunately, we’re now starting to see outdoor areas, even in inner cities, becoming more welcoming, educational, and safer for kids. Online resources also offer plenty of parenting tips on games to play outdoors and how to find somewhere to play them. So there’s no better time to start encouraging more outdoor play!
Preventing Obesity&The Great Outdoors
Until just a few years ago, weight problems affected very few people in India. But recent changes in the economy, and the introduction of new, more affordable technologies, approximately 11 percent of the population are now officially classed as overweight or obese – and a large number of children contribute to this percentage. Kids often spend their time indoors watching TV or playing video games, and some rarely venture out unless absolutely necessary. Encouraging physical activity outdoors is an important way we can prevent the recent increase in overweight Indians becoming a nationwide obesity crisis.
However, outdoor play isn’t just an important mode of exercise. One of the most vital reasons kids love the outdoors is the opportunity to experience the natural environment. While we may take nature for granted, kids can learn so much just fromdiscovering plants, watching animals, and even paddling in lakes. It’s an opportunity to learn about life cycles from the blossoming of flowers, to learn about water conservation from bodies of water, and a chance to learn about food chains by observing the local wildlife. Outdoor play also provides opportunities for kids to interact and socialise with other children, boosting their communication skills and confidence.
If you’d like to get your kids out of the house more often, use your imagination, and you’ll soon think of some exciting activities for them. An escorted, city-wide treasure hunt that ends at their favourite restaurant is a fun way to play outdoors. Just produce a list of clues that take your kids around your local area – you will stay with them for support, but you’ll have to avoid giving away too many hints! You canguide them to some local beauty spotsor places of interest, such as parks or gardens, and you even can make the clues quite educational, to make sure they’re learning at the same time. The final clue should take them somewhere they love, so they can sit down with a cool drink and reflect on the fun!
Guest post by Jennifer and she describes herself as "a freelance writer with a passion for travel, baking, and all things cats. When she's not writing, she can be found exploring fascinating and exotic destinations with her husband and young daughter, or unsuccessfully trying to learn how to crochet."