Outdoor Play

3 Reasons To Get Your Kids Outside

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How much time do your kids spend outside?  Without a doubt, my kids and I spend more time outside than inside, and I'm always surprised when I see statistics that show the limited amount of time that most kids spend outdoors. Did you know that, on average, children today are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago?*  

The National Wildlife Foundation has a fanatastic campaign called Be Out There which encourages parents to get their kids to spend more time in their backyard, local playground or park.  Here are 3 reasons, ,from their website, why kids should be playing outside:

  • Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration. (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg et al., 2007)
  • Sixty minutes of daily unstructured free play is essential to children’s physical and mental health. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008)

  • The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in “wild nature activities” before the age of 11. (Wells and Lekies, 2006)

Here are some photos I took while we were playing outside at a local arboretum:

Wouldn't you like to take a seat here?

Here is a place to rest and a place to explore.

Join a friend at this table as your kids play a game of tag at the arboretum.

I took these photos at the Sit-a-Spell exhibit at the Tyler Arboretum. If you're in the Philadelphia area, you can catch the exhibit now through October 28, 2012.  It's one of the many great places across the U.S. where your kids can run free and Be Out There!

Where is your favorite place to let your kids play outside? Do you have any local outdoor treasures?

*Reference: Juster et al 2004; Burdette & Whitaker 2005; Kuo & Sullivan 2001