13 benefits of outside play that are backed by science:
- Children who play outside are more physically active, which helps prevent obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other health issues
- Children with nature-rich schoolyards are calmer and pay more attention to their teachers than children whose schoolyards have few natural elements.
- Children with ADHD experience significantly fewer symptoms after spending time in nature
- Children who play regularly in natural environments have more advanced motor skills, such as agility, balance and coordination, and are sick less often
- Children who play outside have higher levels of vitamin D, which in turn strengthens their bones and immune systems
- Children who learn how to garden eat more fruit and vegetables and are more likely too keep a healthy lifestyle later in life
- Children who play outside engage in more imaginative games, interact more and get along better
- Children whose schools offer outdoor classrooms or other forms of environmental education score higher on standardized tests
- Children who grow up having regular contact with the natural world are more likely to develop a lifelong love for nature and care to preserve it
- Children are less likely to engage in bullying when they play in natural environments
- Children who play in nature score higher on concentration and self-discipline tests
- Children who are exposed to the natural world develop stronger awareness, reasoning and observation skills
- Children who play outside suffer less nearsightedness and are less likely to need eyeglasses
Those are the benefits of outside play in a nut shell. So the next time you find yourself telling your own kids that outdoor play is “good for you,” you’ll know why!