dreading wintertime cries of, “I’m bored,” even though it’s only early fall?
With Old Man Winter on the way, you might lament the approaching cabin fever
and its impact on your child’s behavior. Why not let them play outdoors
folk tales that you might have heard about cold weather causing illness,
outdoor winter play can help prevent disease. It provides a host of other
benefits as well. Here are nine reasons to bundle up the littles and say, “Do
you want to build a snowman?”
1. Gets Them Fresh Air
If you have
a sick family member, getting your kids out the door more often might protect
them. According to multiple infectious disease experts, outdoor
gatherings are safer than indoors — your children might run a higher risk
by attending school.
isn’t the only nasty bug making the rounds this time of year. Improper
ventilation can let ordinary cold and flu germs proliferate. Plus, exposure to
indoor allergens can spur inflammation and lower the immune response, making
your kids more susceptible to the strain-of-the-year.
2. Boosts Their Immune Function
your kids to have healthy immune systems now more than ever. Get them out in
the fresh air, please.
emit phytoncides, which
are antimicrobial organic compounds that help philodendrons and oak
trees fight off herbivores seeking a snack. Your kids inhale these outdoors,
killing some germs instantly and revving up their immune system to battle the
3. Provides a Vitamin D Boost
need copious vitamin D supplies. The sunshine nutrient helps keep their mood on
an even keel while supporting healthy bone growth. Some studies suggest that a
deficiency in this substance might set
them up for osteoporosis as they age.
As the days
grow shorter, it’s more challenging to let kids play outdoors after dinner —
the sun has long since set. Please encourage your child’s school to keep recess
and P.E. These periods provide valuable opportunities for winter play in
4. Encourages Physical Exercise
tend to move it more when they head outdoors. With their infinite curiosity,
children can’t wait to explore every nook and cranny of the playground, which
gets their little bodies in motion.
your child takes gym class, they can only run so far. Plus, they might feel
intimidated by kids who are larger and faster. Taking them to the park allows
them to test their abilities and stretch their muscles free from fear of
5. Improves Stress Symptoms
to a recent study in Frontiers in Psychology, spending
at least 20 minutes in nature daily decreases cortisol levels. This
stress hormone benefits you if you have to escape an angry bear. However, in
our modern world, where you can’t run away from pressure, it can cause a score
of health problems, from obesity to high blood pressure.
The cost of
medical care hasn’t decreased in recent decades. Compared to the price of
therapy, sending your kids outside to play is an inexpensive alternative.
6. Gives Their Eyes a Break
hours in front of your computer preparing a budget report, and now your vision
blurs, and your head pounds. What do you think happens to children who spend
hours of screen time on homeschool?
eye can fatigue like any other — you wouldn’t try to do biceps curls
for hours, even with 1-pound weights. Plus, extended staring at the screen
could cause their focusing mechanism to freeze up and potentially increase
their risk of nearsightedness. Let them head outdoors, where they can gaze at
objects both near and far.
7. Inspires Their Creativity
You see a
pile of snow. Your child, conversely, spies Mike Wazowski from “Monsters,
play inspires creativity in your child. Fortunately, colder weather means no
end of building materials. They can construct a leaf fort in the fall and
switch over to igloos once the snow flies.
8. Instills an Altruistic Attitude
notices your 80-year-old neighbor struggling to shovel their walk and offers to
help. Wouldn’t you be the proud parent when this event happens?
realize how challenging something is until you tackle it yourself. Let your
child assist with outdoor chores — you can reward
them with a bonus allowance or a small treat afterward. They’ll learn the value
of work and may feel inspired to help others who don’t have the same physical
9. Lets Them Have Old-Fashioned Fun
outside to play is fun — you rarely encounter kiddos who balk at the suggestion
until they reach their moody teen years. Once adult responsibilities intervene,
your child might have little-to-no playtime. Let them enjoy the downtime before
the world sinks it’s “have-to” hooks in them.
recapture some of the magic by getting out there and playing with your child.
While a silicone lubricant won’t
make your sled super-fast like Clark W. Griswold’s in “Christmas Vacation,”
you’ll still laugh up a storm when you fly down a slope.
Let Your Kid Play Outdoors Year-Round for These 9
your kid play outdoors year-round has considerable physical and mental health
benefits. The next time they ask you if you want to build a snowman, please say