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 benefits of outdoor play for kids.

Mother Nature is finally helping parents and caregivers greatly expand where and how our children can play — and child development experts say, you must take advantage and get your kids outside for a bunch of reasons.

Studies show outside play helps a child physically, socially, and emotionally — plus, it gets your kids away from technology and screen time. In terms of physical benefits, doctors say kids who spend more time playing 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

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

*Greater self-awareness

*Better peer-to-peer relationships

*Improved communication skills

*Development of observational and reasoning skills

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

*Use of all five senses

*Develop a sense of independence

*Appreciation for the environment

Three easy ways to convince your kids to go outdoors include scheduling a family walk, bike ride, or taking them to the playground.