How Long Should Your Child Spend Outdoors?


How long does your child spend outdoors? If your child attends a private nursery in Aylesbury, he is already spending some time outside the home, but that might not be sufficient. Spending time outside is beneficial for both the child and the parents; children burn off the energy, while you get time some free time for yourself. Outdoor activities also make sure your children stay fit and healthy.

A research by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children spend about 7 hours and 38 minutes of electronic screen time per day. This leads to a number of health and behavioural problems. SO make sure your child spends enough time outside playing with friends and exploring the nature. The Early Head Start National Resource Centersuggests toddlers between ages 12 months to 3 years must engage in 60 to 90 minutes of outdoor play. Moreover, according to the Penn State University's Better Kid Care Program, half an hour of structured play time and an hour of unstructured activities is essential for toddlers.

Why Encourage Playing Outdoors?

Outdoor play keeps children healthy. Outdoor play leads to the development of gross and fine motor skills as well. Children get an opportunity to explore the nature and as a result the attention span, awareness and observation skills get improved.The longer the children spend outdoors, the more they can socialise with other children of their age. This helps in boosting their self-esteem and confidence.

Therefore, parents must encourage their children to go out and play as much as possible. Plan age-appropriate activities and help them learn through play. Plan outdoor activities that include hands-on activities, sports related activities as well as nature specific activities such as planting, digging, watering, etc.

Some Safety Tips for Outdoor Play

While it is important for your child to spend time outdoors, it is also important to keep them safe. Children must be under constant supervision, when playing outside. Parents must also ensure the environment is safe for playing. This means the playing equipment must be properly maintained and child-proofed. During the summer months, make sure you put a layer of sunscreen to avoid the harmful effects of UV rays. Make sure the children dress according to the weather condition. Another important thing to remember is that your children must drink lots of fluids, especially during summer. You must make sure the nursery school which your child attends also takes care of them when they play outside. Encourage playing in groups, so that parents can take turns to supervise the children.

Outdoor play is important for the overall development of your child(ren). So encourage your children to go out and play in the sun. Parents must also engage in play with their children to keep them motivated. Limit the use of electronic gadgets and TV watching time. Plan trips and picnics to ensure your children have fun. Allow your children to enjoy their childhood by planning camping, night-outs and all kinds of outdoor activities.