8 reasons to play outside

8 reasons to play outside

Being out in the fresh air is the best place for kids (and adults) to be and express themselves, jumping, running, cycling or fooling around. At Goodordering we are so inspired by children and all the feelings of freedom that we have as kids from the first time we learn to ride a bicycle to those moments we find ourselves up at the top of a tree, unsure of how to actually get down!

A few months ago we shared on facebook that kids in the UK spend less time outdoors than prisoners. I was flabbergasted! According to the Guardian, "The distance our kids stray from home on their own has shrunk by 90% since the 70s; 43% of adults think a child shouldn't play outdoors unsupervised until the age of 14." How bad is that?!

Here are some reasons why children should spend more time outdoors.

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1. Being outside improves vision

A study reported by Optometry and Vision Science found that kids who spend time outside have better distance vision than those who play indoors. This published study on nerdy science journal showed that for each additional hour children spent outdoors per week, their risk of being nearsighted dropped by about two percent. Looking far and near exercises those little eye muscles and also gets them away from the TV, computers and tablets, so that can't be a bad thing!

2. Playing outside promotes social skills

Hanging out outside with friends and having fun getting muddy, it's the most natural way for kids to learn social skills, collaboration and co-operation in building new games with what they can kind around. 

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3. It increases attention span

Studies have also highlighted how green spaces help reducing attention deficit symptoms in children. Simply being outside, at a local playground or even in the backyard and have races or play games together, helps improving short attention spans.

4. Being outdoors reduces stress

Spending time outside playing is the perfect remedy for stress. It's relaxing and healing having fun exploring and interacting with nature. This study in the Scandinavian journal of forest research showed that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in the city. Among office workers, even the view of nature out a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.

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5. The sunshine provides vitamin D

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, lots of kids are suffering from vitamin D deficiencies. This vitamin has several health benefits, including preventing kids from future bone problems, diabetes and even heart disease. Vitamin D can be found in tablets but also in its free and natural version: sunlight. 

6. Playing outside makes kids  more imaginative

Playing outside offers kids a stimulating experience that involves all their senses. When i empty my son's pockets after a day running around outside, i find sticks, stones, leaves and rubber bands. Each of those things precious and part of the story he has created in his imaginary world outside. A tree is a bus stop, a fence is a high wall along a castle. Being outside awakens a huge imagination.

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7. Adventuring out of the house improves self-esteem 

According to a study published by the American Medical Association in 2005, children are smarter, better able to get along with others, healthier and happier when they have access to free and unstructured adventures outside. 

8. Being outside rather than inside has huge health benefits

According to the Guardian, Eating disorders are the most visible symptoms of the lack of this kind of green fun, studies report that time spent regularly outdoors is connected to kids' improvements in learning creativity and mental, psychological and emotional health. 

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At Goodordering we think that kids should experience outside life. Even in urban landscapes where wide open space is more limited, there are places to explore and have fun so next time when you are planning an activity, don't overthink it, just go outside!

 Photo credits:

Photography : Leonie Freeman @leoniefreemanphoto
Styling: Anna Morris @annamorrisstyle
Hair & make up: Sophie Moore @sophiem.mua
Models: Mim @mim.hope
Noah @emandthewilds
Zuli @rhonaraya

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