Spring Training: The Importance of Outdoor Play

SONY DSCThis month’s blog post is written by our Health and Wellness intern, Ashlee Burgess. She is a graduate student from Wheelock College pursuing a degree in Child Life. Ashlee loves baseball and the warm weather, and she would like to introduce you to the benefits of playing outside!

Playing outside removes the physical limitations of playing inside. When your child is outside he can run without worrying about bumping into the couch, can jump without feeling like he might slip on the hardwood floors, and can leap without being concerned about careening into the glass cabinet. Outside, your child can practice skills like throwing a ball, catching a Frisbee, and swinging a bat. He can also practice different gross-motor skills such as digging a hole, pushing a swing and pulling a wagon.

  1. Physical benefits of playing outside.

While playing outside, your child will be active and burning calories. Being physically active may help prevent obesity, and will decrease the likelihood of heart disease and hypertension.

  1. Outdoor play and brain development.

Research shows that the fresh air we get while being outside helps clear and de-clutter the brain. Therefore, being outside helps decrease stress levels and helps children be more focused, which helps promote school success.

  1. Play outside and be happy!

The natural light of the outdoors will stimulate the pineal gland, a gland that controls the body’s “internal clock”, which helps us feel more content and happier.

“Recycle baseball” is an easy, cheap, and fun activity you can try with your child. Grab some scrap paper and crumple it up into a ball for the baseball and use a wrapping paper tube to replicate a baseball bat! Recycle baseball will help your child practice throwing, swinging the bat, and will help her get active!

Bring your snacks to Tasty Tuesdays and discuss what you and your child can do in the upcoming warm weather!

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