When we think about a playground, we usually imagine a happy place where children come to run, swing and spend some free time with their friends. However, an outdoor playground is much more than that since it definitely plays a crucial role in children’s physical and mental development.
With this in mind, we’ve singled out a few most prominent health benefits of letting your child play in an outdoor playground.
INCREASED VITAMIN D LEVELS
First things first, vitamin D is extremely important since it strengthens kids’ bones and plays a crucial role in preventing diabetes and heart diseases later in life. Even though we have different vitamin supplements nowadays, and unless there is a medical reason for a child to take them, nothing can beat getting what your child needs via the natural process of having a healthy diet.
For vitamin D, nothing replaces sunlight. Therefore, we advise you to equip your outdoor playground with swing sets, a trampoline and anything else that you know your children won’t be able to resist. Just make sure not to let them outside when the sun is the strongest, or at least not without wearing a high SPF sunscreen.
Nowadays, even our children are under a lot of pressure to live up to certain expectations and high standards set by the modern society which burdens them with numerous extracurricular activities all designed to help them be successful one day. Luckily, we have a simple cure for all that stress – nature.
It has been shown that spending time outside can significantly reduce anxiety and help a child relax and unwind all the accumulated stress. So, aside from having fun while driving their scooters, swinging on swings and climbing and running around the playground, your children will actually get a chance to find their inner peace and grow into mentally stable individuals.
DEVELOPED SOCIAL SKILLS
Playing in an outdoor playground will require of your child to interact with many other kids who want to take a turn on the slide or get into a cubby. Owing to these situations, they will gradually learn how to behave in the presence of others, how to communicate with them, ask for a favour or make an agreement.
All of this is essential if you want your child to be happy in the future and fit into the community. On top of that, constant interactions with their peers will help your children develop their language skills further and learn how to express und understand emotions.
Scientists have discovered that the risk of developing near-sightedness is significantly reduced among children who spend a lot of time outside. Therefore, apart from equipping their playground with all those fun play sets, you can invest in quality outdoor furniture such as the amazing garden table with umbrella.
Here, your children and their friends will be able to sit and have a tasty snack together instead of eating while watching TV and thus additionally straining their eyes. On top of that, even if your child already suffers from myopia, every hour they spend outside will help reduce the progression of this condition and make your child’s life much easier.
REDUCED ADHD AND INCREASED SELF-CONFIDENCE
Last but not least, it seems that today more and more children are experiencing problems with low attention span and a significant percent even develops ADHD. However, various studies have shown that this issue can be successfully dealt with – you just need to encourage your children to spend a lot of time outside.
Considering how relaxing green scenery can be, it’s not surprising that it has proven to be super-effective at reducing attention deficit syndrome. Additionally, if your child has low self-esteem, try to encourage them to participate in more challenging activities like climbing onto a cubby house or perform acrobatics on the trampoline. Once they see how successful they are, your children will be ready to face other challenges bravely as well.
An outdoor playground can do wonders for your child’s mental and physical health. You just need to find a way to encourage them to go out and help them fall in love with all those fun outdoor activities.
Finally, as we head towards the Australian summer, do remember that children can get so excited while playing that they don’t even notice when they become thirsty and out of energy. Therefore, you must not forget to fill your children’s reusable drink bottles with water every time when they head out and remind them to take a sip from time to time.
Good luck and live healthy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
This story is contributed by Stella Van Lane, a Home Design consultant who has a passion for writing. If you like what you are reading, you can find other stories on her sites:
Bubby Cubby does not claim to be a medical professional, and studies and information provided in this story are based on non-exhaustive research. Please seek professional advice from your health care professional to verify the efficacy of the suggested activities and its benefits to the mentioned medical conditions like myopia and ADHD.
Some of the research used in this story are: