LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – 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: The importance of outdoor play for kids.

We’re now in the month of March and that means the weather will start to get better, plus, this Sunday is when we spring our clocks forward. With mother nature improving conditions for us and with a lot more time to be outside just days ahead — 6 News wants to show you why getting your kids outside is so beneficial.

Child development experts say, outside play helps a child physically, emotionally, and socially. Another major advantage, it gets your kids away from technology and long bouts of screen time.

Let’s now look at its physical benefits. When compared with their peers, kids who spend more time outdoors have:

*Improved motor skills – including coordination, balance, and agility

*Improved Muscle Strength and physical endurance

*Improved Overall Health – reducing a child’s risk of becoming obese

Let’s look at the social benefits. Children who play outside are more likely to develop:

*Greater Self-Awareness

*Development of observational and reasoning skills

*Improved Communication Skills

*Better Peer-to-Peer Relationships

Child development experts say, children who play outside tend to be stronger emotionally too, helping them to:

*Use of All Five Senses

*Develop a Sense of Independence

*Appreciate the Environment

Here are a few suggestions to help get your kids outdoors:

*Schedule a family bike ride or walk

*Create an outside obstacle course

*Teach your kids the art of gardening and plant flowers or trees

*Bring art outside by allowing your kids to paint or play with sidewalk chalk

Nature can be very therapeutic and educational too, so parents, try your best to use the upcoming warmer months to set aside time for outdoor play, it may be exactly what your child needs.