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Did you know that exposure to nature reduces stress levels in children by 28%?? (source)
Even a 20 minute walk outside can help children (and adults) concentrate better, remember things better, and enhance overall mental health and well-being.
It’s true. Studies in recent years have shown it. Every facet of a person’s health is affected by time outdoors: physical, social, behavioral, environmental, and mental.
In fact, time outdoors improves a child’s:
- awareness and reasoning
- concentration and problem solving
- sense of wonder and observation
- eyesight and cognitive abilities
You really can’t go wrong with more time playing outdoors!
If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you to spend more time at parks, in the backyard, or exploring the local rain forest, don’t forget what else comes with play and time outside… the freedom to just be kids.
Our culture is obsessed with growing up faster, bypassing the work it takes to heal or learn or grow in depth, and moving on to where to get the quickest results. And it shows, in the growth of screen time, the practically quarterly smartphone-device release, the rise in media/movie subscription companies, among many other things.
Yet no amount of screen time can ever provide the sensory experiences, physical clarity, and emotional enlightenment which the great outdoors provide.
All people need to spend outdoors – moms and our kids alike – there is no age limit on this basic human necessity… time spent in Creation. It’s good for the soul, the mind, and many say the body, too.
Plus, it’s free. Just walk outside your door.
If you came here looking for ways to simplify areas of your life as a mom to young (or older!) kids, look no further than spending time outside. Build your kids up by giving them time to freely play and explore… in the great outdoors.
There are so many places you can go and things you can do. Go to your backyard or side yard, the park, the nature preserve, the beach, a nature focus co-op, or a sandbox if that’s all you have room for. Something outside is better than nothing outside, and anything outside is beneficial for so many facets of the human experience.
By spending more time outside, especially as a family, you are giving your children such a gift. A tangible gift. Because this gives you and your kids the freedom to rest in nature; To explore and play and learn in ways no classroom can provide.
Adopting a slower-paced and simplified life frees up many opportunities for your children, for growth, for learning, for rest, for play.
After all, Albert Einstein even said Play is the highest form of research.
We should probably listen to him – he must know what he’s talking, about, you know, after winning a Nobel Prize, making breakthrough scientific discoveries we read about in physics today, and all that.
By making space in the day and lifestyle your family adopts for play – free play, structured play, outdoor play, you are giving your children a tangible, enriching gift: the freedom to just be kids.
~Katherine Newsom writes at Simple Natural Mama
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