Fall is in full swing and it is perhaps one of the best seasons to get kids outside, as there is plenty to look at and tons to do. Aside from creating memories with their kids, parents should also encourage outdoor play
as a way to help their youngsters connect with the environment and ultimately care about the earth as they age. WPRI 12 in Rhode Island reports there are countless benefits kids gain from exploring their natural surroundings, and certain activities work best for different age groups.Benefits of getting outside
Kids should be encouraged to explore outside because doing so allows them to get creative and use their imagination. Being outside lets kids use a variety of materials - sticks, leaves, rocks - to make up games and adventures. The activities force youngsters to think outside of the box and step back from the TV screens to make up things on their own, without help from parents or toys.
Aside from helping kids become more creative, outdoor play has been found to help youngsters foster a variety of skills including improving their social, cognitive, gross and motor skills, the news channel reports.Healthy kids
who spend ample time in their backyards or at the park using commercial playground equipment
have also been shown to be less stressed or anxious, the National Wildlife Federation reports. These kids are typically better at socializing with their peers and adults, and have even been found to perform better on tests in school.Exploring the outdoors at different ages
Some parents might assume that their kids don't need to get outside until they are at least walking, however this is not the case. WPRI 12 reports children of all ages - infants through teens - benefit from being outdoors. In fact, infants start to develop a sense of the world from the moment they are born and bringing them outside from the get-go will ensure they gain a love of nature, while also helping them reap the benefits of fresh air and natural vitamin D.
As children age, parents should let them explore the backyard and the smells and sounds found there. Allowing babies and toddlers to touch the grass, tree bark, mulch and more exposes them to many different textures, while also letting them smell unique scents and hear natural sounds from birds, bugs and even the wind. Adding in other elements like water, dirt and logs as they age will keep the bond between child and nature strong.