Outdoor Play Proves Essential for Kids
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
by Lauren Rogoff
As Aunties, we know how important it is for our nieces and nephews to be active and play outside. In fact, it’s recommended that preschool-age nieces and nephews should be active at moderate to vigorous levels for at least 60 minutes a day. Unfortunately, many young nieces and nephews aren’t getting enough of their daily playtime. A new study found that nearly half of preschoolers did not have even a single parent-supervised outdoor playtime per day. "Physical activity through play is essential for preschoolers' growth and development," said Dr. Tandon, "Outdoor play is also beneficial for motor development, vision, cognition, Vitamin D levels and mental health."
According to the study, girls are less likely to play outside than boys. Think about ways to get your young niece motivated, doing something she likes, whether it’s a really energetic game of hide and seek, tag, or more traditional team games with Auntie cheering her on.
Playing outdoors is not only good for our nieces’ and nephews’ physical health, but their mental development as well. Once they’re old enough, you can teach them about nature, and the things they are seeing all around them. If you can get there, the beach can be an especially fun backdrop for an inquisitive and active niece or nephew. City-dwelling Aunties can find green spaces in the busiest of cities for some running-around time with nieces and nephews that are perfect for outdoor play. Check out our tips for some great city parks here.
As a result of the study, "I want to encourage parents to talk to all their child's caregivers, and to ask about their outdoor playtime experience in the same way they would normally ask about how much their child ate that day and what they learned," Tandon said. This means us, Aunties – we can be an important factor in making sure our nieces and nephews get outside and stay healthy.
Published: April 26, 2012