A recent study conducted by The Nature of Americans National Report found that children between the ages 8 and 12 now spend three times as many hours on their phones and in front of the TV as they do outdoors.
Playing outdoors is a crucial part of a children’s learning and development, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 60 minutes of outdoor physical activity to stay fit and healthy. If your kid isn’t spending a lot of time in the park or playing football, here are five reasons why you should encourage them to do so.
Nature does and can promote nurture by connecting the participants
Improved Physical Health
Evidence shows that being outside and under the sun improves vitamin D levels in children and adults. Lower Vitamin D in adults has been linked to severe health consequences such as depression, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and hair loss.
Severe hair loss in children due to alopecia has been linked to rickets, which causes soft bones and is linked to vitamin D deficiency.
There is some evidence of muscle pain in children and it's correlation to lack of Vitamin D, however more research is needed to fully understand the impact in children.
Toddlers, preschoolers, and even school-going children benefit greatly from outdoor activities, as it helps them build new connections and spend time in nature. Nature and outdoors serve as a sensory experience for children under the age of five, as they’re able to explore new spaces and experience meaningful learning that leads to the development of strong emotional connection with the environment.
Activities grounded in the outdoors such as playing with soil, water, plants and animals promote experiential learning in children. Moreover, studies have found that children learn better vocabulary and are able to understand notions related to weight, time, size, and volume when playing outdoors.
The use of mathematical procedures during outdoor play has also been highlighted in several pieces of research as children use social constructs and variations of mathematical arguments to drive their reasoning.
Connection with nature offers children a unique stimulus that is simply not replaceable. Natural elements drive children to explore curiosities as they interact with open-ended materials that cater to children’s needs and imaginations.
Nature allows children to reinvent as they can use a simple stick as a boat or a flag or a riding horse. The ability to assign new meanings to objects advances creative thinking, problem solving and open views of the world.
Outdoor Play at Abacus Montessori Academy
At Abacus Montessori Academy, we promote outdoor activities for children and Montessori toddler.
Our daycare center and Montessori is based in Chalfont. To know more about our Chalfont child care center, get in touch with us.