Family and Kids

Children who play and explore outdoors are less

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

1. It makes kids happier

Nature turns frowns upside down. Studies indicate that children who play and explore outdoors are less stressed and may further benefit by learning confidence and social skills. In nature, kids and families get a chance to move at life’s natural pace, where time disappears, no one is bored, and exploration turns into fun adventure. Key to nature play is the chance for kids to explore on their own terms and with their own choices, so they can discover themselves what is interesting and fun (this builds confidence too!). Choosing to climb a tree, hanging onto a rope swing, jumping over a log, skipping stones —all of these are examples of experiences in which children learn more about themselves, their decisions, and what to do in new settings.

2. It makes kids healthier

Get out with the bugs to prevent getting a bug. Keeping kids active helps keep kids healthy. And nothing keeps kids active more than giving them fun and interesting things to explore and do. Studies indicate that even as little as 30 minutes of activity a day will keep you healthy. It can be as simple as a bike ride around the neighborhood or a hike in a local park. There are so many options when you’re in nature — running, jumping, climbing, building and more. Research suggests that the most important thing for kids to make a habit of an active life is being introduced to their activities by a parent. And of course it’s good for the parents too! Try it, you and your kids will like it.

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