With the promise of summer weather comes the opportunity for kids to spend some much-needed time out of the house. There are many benefits that come with outdoor play, from motor-skill development and stress reduction to skills traditionally learned in a classroom—not to mention endless fun!
We all know that the benefits of kids spending time outdoors are plentiful: It develops their motor skills, builds stamina, strengthens muscles, improves their self-awareness and social development, helps with brain development and betters their sensory skills. Plus, it provides a great boost of vitamin D, which works to build and strengthen bones and also decreases the chances of heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Spending time in nature also delivers an automatic mood boost and reduces stress, which is a win for the whole family. Added bonus? Playing under the big blue sky supports the concepts they learn in the virtual classroom. (Just don’t tell them that!) So while they run off some energy—that’ll help the bedtime routine—they’re also processing math concepts, making important science connections, nurturing their inner artist and meeting daily physical activity goals.
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You can inspire your kids to rediscover outdoor play with some simple creative activities or by challenging them with new outdoor toys, which are a great way to develop fresh skills and make play more interactive. Here are some of our fave outdoor activities that will get their minds and bodies working.