3 Main Benefits Of Getting Kids Outside In Nature

kids outside

Lucky kids outside playing in the mud and water!

As a stay at home father I firmly believe the importance of getting kids outside in nature often.  Here are three benefits of encouraging our kids to play outside.

For most people that live in the United States or other developed countries most of our time is spent indoors.  We only go outside to get in the car, or maybe to play a sport or get some exercise.  Recent research is beginning to support the idea that time spent in nature has many positive benefits for us. It is incredibly important that we take time to get outside in nature and remove ourselves from the modern, high technology world we live in.

kids outside

Getting kids outside is good for their health. Photo via Flickr.

Benefit Number One Of Getting Kids Outside – Health Benefits

One important benefit that spending time outside in nature provides is to improve our health.  Research has shown that free play in nature (not just organized sports) actually helps reduce obesity. We all know what a problem obesity is becoming throughout the developed countries of the world and anything we can do to combat it is worth a try.

As parents we need to encourage our kids to go outside and just explore and play.  This may mean that we, parents, also go with them and set an example.  Just spending a half hour a day outside will help us and our kids stay healthy.

kids outsideBenefit Number Two Of Getting Kids Outside – Mental Benefits

Throughout history people have turned to nature to meditate and calm their minds.  In old stories the wise men often live in caves at the tops of mountains.

In the natural world there simply are not as many bright lights, noises, or distractions to keep our minds busy.  This lack of overwhelming stimuli is good for our brains to slow them down and relax them.  Spending time outside is important for being happy.

kids outside

Great family bonding time outside in the Rocky Mountains.

Benefit Number Three Of Getting Kids Outside – Family Bonding Time

Personally, I feel that this is one of the best and most important benefits of spending time outside in nature with my kids.  The time we spend outside as a family is fun and a great bonding time.  It may just mean we go for a short walk along a river or creek.  As we walk we explore and discover new things.

Family bonding time outside in nature does not have to mean driving hours to get away from it all.  Sometimes it may mean that, but it also includes a walk in your neighborhood park.   The important thing is to just get your kids outside.