𝟓 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐧 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞
Yes, sun exposure — especially sunburns — can increase the risk of skin cancer. But it turns out that our bodies need sun. We need sun exposure to make vitamin D, a vitamin that plays a crucial role in many body processes, from bone development to our immune system. Our bodies work best when they get some sunshine every day.
Children should be active for an hour every day, and getting outside to play is one way to be sure that happens. They can certainly exercise indoors, but sending them outdoors — especially with something like a ball or a bike — encourages active play, which is really the best exercise for children.
3. Executive function.
These are the skills that help us plan, prioritize, troubleshoot, negotiate, and multitask; they are crucial for our success. Creativity falls in here, too, and using our imagination to problem-solve and entertain ourselves. These are skills that must be learned and practised — and to do this, children need unstructured time.
4. Taking risks.
Children need to take some risks. As parents, this makes us anxious; we want our children to be safe. But if we keep them in bubbles and never let them take any risks, they won’t know what they can do — and they may not have the confidence and bravery to face life’s inevitable risks.
5. Appreciation of nature.
So much of our world is changing, and not for the better. If a child grows up never walking in the woods, digging in soil, seeing animals in their habitat, climbing a mountain, playing in a stream, or staring at the endless horizon of an ocean, they may never really understand what there is to be lost.
So try it. Do what our parents did: send your children outside. Even better, go with them.
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