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http://jonikidpt.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kidpt.png 0 0 jonikidpt http://jonikidpt.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/kidpt.png jonikidpt2020-12-11 07:00:002020-12-09 22:30:43Outdoor Time: It’s More Than Just a Walk in the Park!
Many schools are going virtual until after the holidays, and we know what that means… more screen time. We’ve heard a pattern: many parents feel like it is hard for their child to stay engaged in their classroom activities when they are learning through a screen all day, and we hear ya, who wants to stare at a computer screen ALL DAY? Humans thrive through in person experiences, where they get to use every one of their senses, and this especially includes little humans!
Children are learning a high volume of information every day to make sense of their world and their ever changing environments. One great way to supply them with a lot of valuable information for learning and moving is to take them outside. Time outside will give them a break from the screen time and will give them the freedom and space to stretch their legs so they can move! Research says that kids can benefit from being outside for more than just a little fresh air, here are three of the amazing benefits of letting your kids immerse themselves in their outdoor world:
- Increased activity level: When kids are outside, they have so much SPACE to get their energy out! Many will want to jump, run, and move all around to explore their new and unfamiliar surroundings. This free exploration will let them work on those essential gross motor skills in a new and novel way. Maybe they want to jump in a pile of leaves, try to climb a tree, or run up and down a grassy hill (safely and with supervision of course)!
- Opportunity for new sensory stimulation: There are so many fun textures, colors, smells, and sounds at the park, in the woods, or at the beach. Playing in any of these places can be turned into a science exploration where kids can learn about why some leaves are waxy and some are soft while feeling it first hand, seeing what the little hairs on leaves look like and how tall they are, and hearing the sound from their fingers brushing a soft leaf compared to a waxy one. There are so many possibilities for learning in a sensorially engaging way!
- Reduces stress levels and improves attention: A walk in the park or a hike CAN boost your child’s attention, and this has been seen in both neurotypical children and children with ADHD. Even a short walk can do it, researchers discovered that as little as 20 minutes in the park significantly improved attention and cognitive performance (Faber Taylor & Kuo, 2009). Kids have also been seen to associate nature with words such as “calming” and “relaxing” when participating in programs requiring outdoor time (Chawla, Keena, Pevec, & Stanley, 2014).
We hope your family gets to spend some quality outdoor time this fall! We’d love to see pictures of you playing and having a blast out there, so tag @kidpt on Facebook or Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org of you getting your fresh air on!! Stay tuned next week for outdoor distanced activities to keep your kids entertained and moving with their friends in a safe way.
Faber Taylor, A., & Kuo, F. E. (2009). Children With Attention Deficits Concentrate Better After Walk in the Park. Journal of Attention Disorders, 12(5), 402–409. https://doi.org/10.1177/1087054708323000
Louise Chawla, Kelly Keena, Illène Pevec, Emily Stanley. Green schoolyards as havens from stress and resources for resilience in childhood and adolescence. Health & Place, 2014; 28: 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.03.001
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