Why children should spend time outside, and not in front of a computer monitor, smartphone…

Do you still remember what the days were like when you were little? Most likely, you ran in front of the house, played on the field, read https://argoprep.com/blog/culturally-responsive-teaching-what-you-should-know/ and climbed trees. Now reach out to your conscience – how do your kids spend their time outside? Don’t they spend more time at home than in nature?

Yes, times are just changing. What used to be normal for us, our children cannot even imagine. It is said that modern children spend a lot of time in front of the screen. Their program has been organized since childhood. In the morning, kindergarten – school, then circles, older children still write homework, and in the evening they fall in front of the TV. When to spend time outside? Except for driving to school, or being in kindergarten when the morning program takes place (not always) on the street. At the same time, children need to be in nature. This not only contributes to their proper development, but also has a number of other positive benefits.

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Recently, there has been talk about https://argoprep.com/blog/educators/fake-news-examples-for-students-and-how-to-find-the-facts/ and the impact of modern technology on the generation of today’s children, who are used to filling their free time with computer games or watching videos. It turns out that children from the most developed countries suffer not only from obesity, but also attention deficit disorder or depression. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention results show that, for example, in the United States, one in three children is overweight, and one in sixteen then takes antidepressants or psychotropic substances.

The German psychiatrist Manfred Spitzer even talks about the so-called digital dementia, which is, among other things, the title of his publication. He states that his research has concluded that digital media use negatively impacts cognition, especially in children whose brains are still developing. Preschoolers who spend several hours a day in front of a TV or in front of a tablet may experience difficulty with self-expression, concentration and a smaller vocabulary, he says.

“Digital media frees us from mental work. What we used to do simply with the mind is now provided by computers, smartphones, organizers and navigation. This carries immeasurable dangers,” says neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer, who adds that the ability of children and adolescents to learn is drastically reduced due to digital media, leading to impaired attention and reading, anxiety and numbness, sleep disorders and depression, excessive weight, violent tendencies, etc. In addition, since children receive information only passively, they are not as resourceful as peers who spend time outdoors.

Why should children spend time outside?

There is no doubt that staying in nature is beneficial. Today we are a little more comfortable. Instead of dragging children out, parents often give them pills to calm them down. At the same time, it has been scientifically proven that being outdoors and interacting with nature reduces the likelihood of being overweight, developing gross motor skills and social skills.

In 2010, researchers in the United Kingdom equipped 1,000 children with GPS devices and tracked their movements. They found that children’s physical activity outside was 2-3 times higher than inside the building. Being in nature has also been shown to improve attention in children with attention deficits. Today, the so-called eco-therapy is becoming more and more popular, based on the fact that nature has a significant impact on mental and physical health.

How does outdoor recreation benefit children?

• Strengthens mental health;
• Improves mood;
• Reduces stress and mental fatigue;
• Increases the ability to concentrate;
• Restores attention;
• Acts as an asthma prevention;
• Children have fun learning outdoors.

It turns out that learning in nature strengthens memory, and also increases students’ interest in learning. But we are clear that not all parents have the opportunity to spend every day with their children in nature or in the park when they live in cities. An alternative could be forest clubs or kindergartens, trips to a forest or a park.

Being outdoors is good for kids and I believe it will be good for you too. And isn’t it beautiful? So what? Put on your boots, put on your raincoats and get out into the fresh air!