1. Build physically healthier children.
Nowhere is better than the outdoors for running, jumping, throwing balls, catching, pulling things, lifting, and carrying objects. All these actions require motor skills that improve with practice. Playing in the sun builds vitamin D in the body, which means stronger bones and less likelihood of chronic diseases. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, many children have vitamin D deficiencies.
2. Contribute to cognitive and social/emotional development.
They are more likely to be inventive, explore and learn about the world around them, and use their abilities. These interactions help improve communication, cooperation, and organizational skills. Additionally, fresh air and play reduce stress levels.
3. Improve sensory skills.
An optometry and vision science study showed children who play outside regularly have better distance vision than children who are always indoors. Watching television use only two senses (hearing and sight). This can negatively affect the development of perceptual abilities.
4. Increase attention spans.
Children who play outdoors regularly are more curious, self-directed, and likely to stay with a task longer. Children who spend most of their time indoors with little exposure to activities requiring their initiation and follow-through show less ability to initiate or participate in new activities.
5. Grow in happiness and immunity.
Outdoor light stimulates the pineal gland. This part of the brain is vital to keeping our immune system strong and making us feel happier. Spending time in nature is also associated with improving mood and happiness. An added bonus is that children who identify with nature are more likely to become adults who appreciate nature and want to protect the environment.