Children of this current generation are spending too much time indoors, and this is a worrisome trend. Things are at the point where the crisis is called Nature Deficit Disorder.
Calling it a disorder only serves the need to see that kids are facing significant risk. Their increased time indoors is primarily attributed to technology. According to surveys, the average child in America spends about 4 – 7 minutes a day outside compared to over 7 hours in front of a screen – be it the TV, computer, or mobile phone.
Most parents prefer having their kids inside the house for their safety; they fear that they can get sick or injured when playing outside. When you search for “high ropes near me“, you might be scared off by the stories of accidents, but keeping your kids inside does nothing good for them. However, a lot of things attest to the contrary.
The population is always growing, and the demand for more space for creating homes and business has more and more of nature being parcelled off. Privacy also has many people fencing their property and kids seem less inclined to want to play or spend time in such a confined area. The digital world that comes with today’s tech, where children are growing up socialising with others as they play multiplayer video games, as they also chat and catch up on social media accounts, aggravates the situation.
Why Should Children Spend More Time Outside?
Studies show that spending time in the great outdoors is necessary and beneficial to kids and adults. It is good for the development of their mental and physical health. How the it impacts the cognitive functions, and improve moods may not be entirely clear, but there are a few things known about the blessings provides by the outdoors.
1: It Builds Confidence
Outdoor play is less structured than when kids play indoors. They have more space to interact with the outdoors surroundings in infinite ways. The outdoors can be their backyard, the local park, the likes side, beach, or going camping or hiking. Allow the children to elect who they view, interpret, and interact with natures means that they have the power to choose and control their actions.
2: It Promotes Creativity and Imagination
The unstructured play synonymous with playing outside allows kids to interact with nature. They can come up with unique activities as they think more freely and will have inventive ways of how they view and approach the environment around them.
3: It Teaches Responsibility
Everything that has life dies when it does not receive proper care. The kids get to learn about nature and how every living thing in their environment is essential. For instance, spending time outside can be an opportunity to teach kids why they should not pull out plants by their roots and the importance of watering them.
4: It Provides Different Stimulation
Compared to your kid’s violent video game, nature will seem less appealing and stimulating. However, the outdoors offers more sensible things that involve the use of all senses – hearing, smelling, touching, and seeing. Children will have less of the richness of the human experiences when they have less and less time playing and interacting with their natural surroundings.
5: It Gets Kids Moving
Much of how we interact with nature involves different activities that see us exercising, which is better than having to sit on the couch. That that does not necessarily mean your kid will have to run about in the park, ride a bike, or play ball. Something as mundane as walking is enough the get the juices flowing in the body. Such activities help them to be more focused and thus, can be especially beneficial for children with ADHD.
6: It Makes Them Think
Every kid loves being wowed, and nothing comes close to evoking a unique sense of wonder in children better nature. It is a phenomenon that happens every day in our parks and backyards, and the little ones play and get to learn more about the earth.
7: It Reduces Stress and Fatigue
The Attention Restoration Theory did a study that showed urban settings need “directed attention” to keep us from exhausting our brains as we avoid or ignore distractions. Nature presents us with what’s known as “soft fascination”, which is something that we practice effortlessly as we take the pleasures of being in the outdoors.
And, as much as the current generation of kids cannot do without some screen time given the technologies present, parents need to set aside enough time for children to play outside.