Kids are spending too much time indoors these days that there’s already a term for it: nature deficit disorder. It means they aren’t spending as much time as they should outdoors. In the 1980s, a biologist by the name of Edward O. Wilson said that humans are instinctively drawn to nature. It is called biophilia. But if you look at your kids now, you will begin questioning this theory since it looks like they prefer to spend more time with their computers. Is that it?
But try to take them out for a walk in the park. Is it them who want to stay indoors or it’s you who do not have the time to take them outside? One of the ways to incorporate outdoor activities into your kids’ routine is to make sure they have access to it every single day.
Do you have a small space outside the house? Then, you can turn that into a nice garden where they can run around and play or put up a deck where you can stay as a family for barbecue nights and other activities. Just make sure to call professional landscape architects or deck coating specialists for a well-designed garden or deck that can offer just the right amenities for the kids.
They Spend More Energy Outdoors
Kids nowadays sit all day long in front of their computers that they don’t spend the energy they need to. By the end of the day, when it is nearing bedtime, they are still as energetic as if they just woke up. They lose sleep because they’re bursting with energy. They cannot put themselves to sleep even if they drink a full glass of warm milk. Spending time outdoors will get them moving. Simply walking and running outdoors will pump some blood into their veins. They don’t have to join a sports team to get some physical exercise.
It Prevents ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition that affects brain development. It affects the child’s ability to sit still, focus on a task, and control himself. It can impact progress in learning, as well as relationships. Kids who have ADHD will do well spending time outdoors because their surroundings will stimulate them. They can see, hear, and smell different things. It activates more of their senses and thus, makes them more focused on their surroundings. They will sit still—something that’s hard to do for people with ADHD—and breathe in these new sights.
It Is Confidence Building
Indoor play is structured play. It means that the kids will likely not have much room for growth and imaginative play there. They will instead follow instructions. The point of playing for kids is to allow them to experiment, explore, and experience. This is what the great outdoors offers. Whether it’s your own backyard or a public park or a hiking trail, spending time outdoors will make your kids more confident about their skills. They will hone their physical, emotional, mental, and psychological skills outdoors, making them more confident once they start interacting with others.
They Can Create and Explore More
There are infinite ways to interact with nature. Kids can design their own activities. They can imagine and create scenarios for themselves. Younger kids love it when their adults run after them in the park. In their minds, a T-Rex is running after them. These are the kinds of imaginative play that they allow themselves to think about when they are outdoors. They rarely think about these things indoors because the view there is constricting.
It Teaches Responsibility
Kids need to learn how to be responsible for their surroundings. You can take them gardening. You can ask them to water the plants every morning or give them at least two to three plants that they have to take care of. This will teach them about living things—that if they don’t take care of plants and flowers, they will die naturally. They will then start caring more for all things, including their toys, pets, and other people outside their family and friends.
It Gives Them a Sense of Wonder
Nature is effortless in capturing the attention of your kids. It doesn’t require them to focus and ignore distractions. They naturally do that because nature is wondrous in many ways. They see new things that catch their attention. That allows them to focus on it effortlessly. This then creates a sense of wonder and pleasure. Unlike when they watch videos and play games on their iPads, there is no fatigue in spending time with nature.
Screen time is the easier and more popular method to entertain your kids. However, spending time outdoors is the scientifically and medically proven way to make your kids learn more about themselves and their surroundings. It has a ton of benefits that will benefit your kids in the future.