Every parent of my generation agrees over the benefits of spending time outdoors for kids, and laments about how kids are spending fewer hours outside. Compare the situation with our own childhood. We would be raring to go outside and play.
There are several benefits of spending time outdoors for the kids as well as for us.
1. Vitamin D
We all know sunlight is the primary source of Vitamin D [more specifically Vitamin D3] and thanks to certain advertisements, we also know how Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of Calcium in the body. Our traditional wisdom has also vouched for keeping babies in sunlight. But in reality, as more and more people are living in apartments, they are hardly spending any time in the sun. Refer this article to read more about Vitamin D.
Personally, whether it is summertime or winters, I try to take the toddler in the sun for half an hour at least every alternate day. It gives me and the toddler our dosage of Vitamin D.
2. Taking a Break on difficult days
With young kids, there are days when nothing seems to work, no toy seems to be interesting enough, no activity seems to be stimulating enough, and then there are some days when you do not feel like cleaning up the mess. So, what is your best bet? Outdoors! It always works like a magic. It also gives you a change of scene, and there is always something or the other to look at or play with.
3. Playing in the mud
Our generation is perhaps giving too sanitized environment to our kids. I remember when my toddler was a baby; we would push the sanitizer into the hands of anybody moving close to him. But good sense prevailed and now when I take him outdoors, I encourage him to play in the mud, because we all know how happy and liberating it feels to do so. Digging out stuff, just putting their hands in the mud…come on, all of us have done it. Research also indicates that it improves their immunity.
4. Learning opportunities
There is no better classroom than outdoors. Agree? Now the other day when we were outdoors, and my son was picking up fallen flowers, I had the opportunity to show the tree where those flowers were blooming, and where they were falling; how over time they got dried and mixed with the soil, and so on and so forth. It was lovely. Everything was right there in front of us. We all know how kids love looking at trees, animals and birds, or dig out soil.
Outdoors offer the best workout opportunities for us as well as the little ones. I always wear my running shoes, when I take him out. The toddler gets place to run around and wear out his abundant energy, while I get an opportunity to do some exercise. When he was 3 months old, I would take him downstairs for sunlight and do brisk walking. Lately, when we go down during evenings, I choose a shop for buying stuff, which is at a distance. So, I carry a 12 Kg kid and walk to the shop, buy stuff and walk back with the kid and the stuff. It certainly gives me a decent workout.
So, tell me how outdoors work for you?
Reema Sahay is a Stay-At-Home-Mom, Freelance Writer, Voracious Reader, Passionate Blogger, Social Media Enthusiast, Internet Junkie and Ex-Marketing Communication Professional. She spends her days running after her very curious toddler, ‘the star’, and catching up on books when he naps. She writes about charms and challenges of life at Pen Paper and shares her passion for books at Recommend Books. She sometimes feels that her 5.5 years stint in Marketing Communication was in another life.