Parenting Connection: Outside Play Should be Year-Round

Parenting Connection

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Outdoor play should be year-round.

We’re officially in the fall season, and here in Michigan, we all know that means outside conditions will quickly get darker, colder, and less appealing than a sunny and warm summer we’re leaving behind. That being said, child experts say, this shouldn’t stop you from sending your kids outside to play, in fact, making sure your kids have daily outdoor play time will help them become better learners.

“Days are getting shorter and temperatures are falling, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be going outside with your kids, says MSU Child Development Expert Kendras Moyses. There’s no wrong weather, just wrong dress, right?… so make sure your kids are properly dressed. Getting outside is important, especially since schools are starting to cut-back on recess, because it gives kids an opportunity to be big with their movements. It also helps with motor development and helps with imaginative play because they can be louder and run faster.”

Let’s look at some of the benefits outdoor play can provide kids, especially now that school is back in full force:
*Playing outside allows kids to do what they’re interested in-doing
*Provides an better opportunity to be creative
*Outdoor play allows for hands-on learning with materials like rocks, dirt, and bugs
*Improves a child’s mental health to rejuvenate interest in school
*Helps form social skills by playing with other kids

Child experts say, a key factor for happy and healthy children is getting along with others… and when playing outside helps them learn better as well… it may mean you shouldn’t let the cooler weather stop you from sending your kids outside.

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