Playing outdoors can supply a world of benefits
October 12, 2010
By Julie Deardorff, Tribune NewspapersWant to nurture a healthy, motivated student? Send your child outside for a daily dose of nature, say advocates of the No Child Left Inside movement.
Once the school year starts, kids tend to hibernate indoors, but studies suggest that giving children access to green spaces, sunlight and fresh air can do everything from reduce symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to improve mood and academic performance. Spending time in nature makes us feel more alive, according to research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology; some say this vitality can translate into increased motivation and capacity for learning.
Each day, try giving kids one hour of unstructured play in the natural world, suggests the National Wildlife Federation, an advocacy group. For children who live in areas where unsupervised outdoor play isn't safe or accessible, a "green" hour can take place in a park, backyard, even on a porch.
Some tips to encourage outdoor play:
Go with them. If you're excited about going outside, your kids will be, too, said Tanya Berry, a physical education researcher at the University of Alberta. She suggests limiting media use to reduce the pull from the indoors.
Adopt something. My boys love picking up "treasures" (aka garbage) in the alleys, so we recently signed up for an "adopt a beach" cleanup program. Parks, forests, highways and yards all need cleaning up.
Find an event. Children are enthusiastic detectives; check out local nature or ecology centers for scavenger hunts, which help develop problem-solving and visual-discrimination skills. Or try http://www.naturerocks.org/ to find activities close to home and tailored to your child's age.
Get gadgets. Transform the yard by equipping your children with headlamps or flashlights and letting them explore at night. During the day, pitch a tent in the yard or give them a small magnifying glass to watch bugs and other creatures. Try binoculars and compasses, too.
Create or join a family nature club. When families get together — to hike, garden or even take part in a stream reclamation — the kids tend to play more creatively by themselves or with others than during single-family outings, said Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods" (Algonquin, $14.95), who coined the phrase "nature-deficit disorder" to describe our modern disconnect with the natural world. The Children & Nature Network promotes nature clubs for families and has a free guide on how to start your own; go to http://www.childrenandnature.org/.
Play games. Create a backyard obstacle course and time each participant. Or play the alphabet game by finding letters hiding on the ground, in the trees or in the sky, suggests the National Wildlife Federation, which encourages outdoor activity in its Be Out There campaign; go to http://www.nwf.org/. A branch can form a "y"; a blade of grass can be an "i." Have older children spell words.
You can always use the commercial playground equipment to create nature environment of their dreams and imagination!
Commercial Playground Equipment Snider and Associates provides park, athletic and commercial playground equipment to the school, early education, parks and recreation industry. Located in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. outdoor playground equipment, water park equipment, aluminum bleachers, boat docks and boat lifts, bike racks, trash receptacles, park benches, shelters, volleyball, basketball equipment, outdoor fitness equipment email@example.com 1-800-888-2889
Friday, April 22, 2011
Playing outdoors can supply a world of benefits - on the playground equipment
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
You have worked nicely with your insights that makes our work easy. The information you have provided is really factual and significant for us. Keep sharing these types of article, Thank you.bounce castle rental near me
"There are numerous benefits to playing on playground equipment outside." Thank you for taking the time to share a photo of such a lovely playground. By the way, I'm currently seeking history dissertation examples assistance with a homework assignment. This benefits me because it allows me to do my assignment more quickly. The website's wealth of knowledge can assist all students.
Very good article and also I like your outfit its looking style and cool. Thank you for posting. Drip Goku Jacket Buy Cheap
Post a Comment