Do you remember the first time you saw a wild rabbit outside? Remember the excitement that you felt? When I grew up, I spent a lot of time outside playing. I would also do such things as watch ants making their anthill, watch our ducks and dogs in our backyard, or just lay on the grass looking at the clouds. Since I grew up in Galveston, I also enjoyed walking on the beach discovering new things.
Today, when I visit schools, I talk with a lot of students that do not have these opportunities. Many of the students go home after school and just watch t.v. for enjoyment. Many students are in front of an electronic screen for seven hours per day! Research has shown that children are spending 50% less of their time outside today as they did 20 years ago.
One reason to take children outside is it that it just makes them feel good. It seems to wipe away some of the sadness that they might be experiencing in their life and uplifts their spirits. Children who spend more time outside seem to be happier with less depression.
Third, when a child is outside, he is using many of his senses at the same time like seeing, hearing, feeling or maybe even tasting. Using your senses lets your brain know what is going on around you. The more we use our senses, the easier it is for us to learn. Being outside is very different than just looking at a computer screen.
Fourth, being outside helps the physical health of children. Today in America, there are one in three children that are obese. Being outside improves the fitness level of children. Also, it raises their vitamin-D level, which can help prevent some other future health issues. And, it has been shown to help improve the distance vision of children.
Being in nature just makes a child, and us adults too, happier, which can help foster social interactions. Being out in nature is just good for all of us! So let's get outside! #getoutside #nature