The Physiological Benefits Your Children Gain from Outdoor Play

In a digital age where every individual owns a gadget or even two, it can be difficult to encourage children to play outdoors. Most of today’s kids would rather stay at home and play games on their tablets or smartphones.

(Kids together in jumping competition)

Based on Jenny Anderson’s report on, American kids spend about 18.6 hours of play time using their gadgets. Interestingly, it was also revealed that 62% of parents want their children to have more outside play. While this is currently an inescapable reality, it’s the parents’ responsibility to regulate their children’s screen time and introduce more play time. Playing outdoors is proven to give a child a range of benefits, from physical to social, mental and emotional. 

1. A fun way to exercise

Children are active by nature, and need as much physical activity as they can for their development and well-being. Unfortunately, one in five school children (ages 6 – 19) are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a percentage that has more than tripled since the 1970s. Children who have obesity or don’t get enough physical activity have an increased risk of chronic health conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea, and heart disease. Allowing children to play outdoors can contribute to the prevention of such detrimental effects. Besides, it’s a fun way for them to get some exercise.


2. Making new friends

Outdoor play with other children introduces kids to new friends, thereby promoting social development. Kids have the need to belong, whether it’s with family, friends, or school mates. Live Strong also notes that during outdoor activities, children are given opportunities to learn how to work in groups. They learn the idea of sharing, negotiating, and resolving conflicts. Additionally, having the support of friends naturally boosts a child’s self-confidence, which in turn helps with his or her emotional well-being.


3. Cognitive skills

Letting kids play outdoors is also beneficial for their brain development. A research paper done by the University of Missouri-Kansas’ School of Education found that play time allows children to achieve fundamental tasks that help them grasp concepts. In learning by doing, kids become familiar with the words they are taught, like running, exploring, and stomping. In relation, it improves a child’s motor skills and increases a child’s ability to process new information. In simpler terms, outdoor play just helps your child get a better understanding of the world around them.

It’s in the parents’ best interest to know the different ways to develop a child’s skills and health. With a learned mind, you are better prepared for when unforeseen circumstances occur, whether it’s a sickness or a behavioral change in your child. As Health IQ states, people who are conscious about health have a 41% lower mortality. Being well-prepared will not just benefit the child later in life, but also those around them. Outdoor play instills the value of health consciousness early on mainly through exercise and social interaction.

Written By Guest Writer:

Sandra Baker, child developmental specialist and mom of two.


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My name is Anne and I am a local mommy blogger ... Momee Friends is all about Long Island and all things local with the focus on family

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