Monday, April 16, 2012

play outside!


Disturbingly, a new study has found that almost half of preschool age children don't play outside each day.  Furthermore, the children in the study were found to be sedentary 80% of the time they are at preschool.


Why does this matter?  Quite simply, outdoor play is good for children.

The benefits of outdoor play are well documented, and include:

  • increasing physical activity
  • increasing the body's vitamin D levels
  • reducing anxiety and improving mood
  • improving concentration and focus
  • enhancing imaginative and creative play
  • promoting problem solving and leadership skills
  • growing the next generation of stewards for the earth
  • developing stronger immune systems

Less time spent playing outdoors is linked to:
  • obesity
  • type II diabetes and high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • anxiety disorders and depression
  • attention deficit disorder
There has never been a more important time for parents and educators to make outdoor play a priority for the children in their lives.  It is one of the best things that we can do for their health, education and well-being.

In need of some outdoor play inspiration?  
So what are you waiting for?  Grab the kids and head on outside to play!





17 comments:

  1. I'm such strong advocate for outdoor play and I love posts and articles that not only stress it's importance, but state the actual reasons! I shared this with all my Facebook friends and family. :)

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing the post Jessie. Like you I'm a strong advocate for outdoor play and it is important to spread the word :)

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  2. Hello,

    Would you like to be a guest blogger on my blog regarding play.I would copy your play outside blog and give you full credit as well as linking it back to your site. I think that this is such an important piece that I would loved as many parents and teachers as possible to read it.

    Liz Mccaw
    Elizmccaw@gmail.com
    http://crazyforkindergarten68.blogspot.ca/

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  3. I read this too...very disturbing! i can't imagine why you wouldn't want to take kids outside to play each day...there is so much mess and fun to be had and it keeps them busy and tired enough to go straight to sleep at night!!We love our outdoor activities!

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    1. I know Jode - I had to reread the figures. It seems astounding to me that children in preschools are spending so much time inside. And I hear you about the sleep!

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  4. This is so true. We have a segment of our toys selected specifically to encourage kids outdoors with a bit of structure to get them going. You can see many of them at http://www.oola.com.au/collections/autumn-sale. But the important point is that we help kids get out there.

    Thanks for sharing the links. There's so many ways to get kids moving. We just need a few ideas to get started.

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    1. Totally agree Kelly - so important to keep getting the kids out there.

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  5. Thank you so much for linking up to our Outdoor Play Party, Jenny! And more importantly - I am so grateful for you spreading the word about the importance of outdoor play.

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    1. My pleasure Rebekah. I love the outdoor linky. I just seem to forget to enter my posts!

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  6. This is a great post, more people need to know the benefits of outdoor play. I linked back to it it's so great!
    http://knownitwasyou.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you for the linky love Robyn :)

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  7. I'm not surprised by this study.. wait until they get to school, its even worse.
    My daughter is in grade 1 this year, and they are so busy trying to fit all the work in that they are sitting most of the day, and they are taught to sit still and not wiggle around.
    I'm all for standing work stations in schools. I think its such a shame that they have to sit all day - so many studies to link sitting with poor health.

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  8. I have been following your blog for a few months. This post helped confirm my concerns as I just check out a new provider today because his current one does not take him outside enough/or at all. thx

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    1. Personally, as a teacher, I would go nuts keeping the kids indoors all day. I don't know how they do it. Best of luck looking for a new provider - there are some wonderful ones out there.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this important research, Jenny! (and for mentioning our Outdoor Play Party)

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  10. Thank you for sharing this important research, Jenny! (and for mentioning our Outdoor Play Party)

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