It's time to get outside. Spring has sprung, the flowers have bloomed, the trees have their leaves, and the sounds of little league can be heard in every town across America. Whether you like to take a hike, go fishing, or work in your garden, take your kids along. It can be a great family event. Go out and have a catch with a frisbee, or a baseball, or go for a bike ride.
Today too many children are stuck inside using their devices. Children can spend up to 6.5 hours or more in front of a screen of some type each day. They don't spend enough time exploring the world outside. A recent poll done by CBS news found that only 51 percent of children went outside to play with other children or with their parents each day. Outdoor play experiences provide positive effects in physical, mental, and cognitive abilities, particularly unstructured play. Catch with a frisbee, or a baseball, or go for a bike ride.
Children often use their imagination in ways we as adults don't even think of. An adult may see a stick for just what it is, a stick. Whereas a child can see it as many different things: a pen, a bow, a magic wand, a sword, even a witch's broom. These are things that can develop when exploring outside with a child. All you have to do is take a look on our playground here at Montgomery School, and you'll see an elaborate collection of sticks and logs. Depending on who you talk to it can be many different things. Recess provides a time for children to be as creative as they can be, where the adults aren't running the games. A few basic rules allow the kids a lot of freedom. It gives them a chance to move their body, explore, tinker, problem solve, work through their emotions, and use their imaginations.
Many children are being seen with sensory and motor deficits from not spending adequate time outside. Playing outside helps strengthen the immune system and gets children plenty of exercise that they don't even know they're getting.
So, go spend some time outdoors with a child, you may discover a side of them you didn't know existed.