April 23, 2014

5 Reasons Spring Play is Especially Important!

Enjoy this guest post from our friends at 1000 Hours Outside, a blog that encourages parents to take their kids outside more and discover the amazing benefits of play.

We know spring weather is hit-or-miss. Here are five reasons to check your 10-day forecast and schedule in spring outdoor time for the days when you're not buried in snow or rain.

  1. Building endurance
    Just like how our bodies begin to atrophy after missing the gym, our children don't have as much stamina after a winter inside. In order to be prepared for summer hikes, we use the spring to get little bodies ready.


  2. Building a base layer of color
    There is controversy regarding sun exposure. Regardless of the debates there is a lot of research that the body needs vitamin D from the sun, so I don't want my kids slathered in sunscreen at all times. If we wait until the summer to head outside the kids have to be completely covered in sunblock or risk sunburns. When we begin our outside time early in the year, the kids build up a small base layer of color, making it safer for their skin to absorb at least a little vitamin D throughout the summer months.


  3. You will see the most amazing of things!
    Flowers are blooming. Buds are budding. Animals are having sweet, adorable little babies. Bugs are appearing. And the foliage is still thin enough to see through the trees. You can easily get to the often inaccessible areas that in other seasons are poison-ivy or snow covered.


  4. Is there anything more exciting to a child than puddle jumping?
    Children and puddles are like opposite ends of a magnet. Puddle jumping is such a simplistic childhood joy. Since kids grow up so quickly, let's remember to schedule some time to play in the rain and splash in a few puddles. Make it a family activity by playing Follow the Leader!


  5. Enjoy the spring sunshine!
    It's warmer than you think and your family could always use some fresh air 40˚ and some sunshine will feel like Tahiti. So, head outside! Enjoy the spring! Soak up all the educational, social, developmental, and physical health benefits time outside playtime provides. Foster connection, memories, and playfulness within your family unit—even if it is still just a tad chilly.

Photos courtesy of 1000 Hours Outside.

Jen, Lisa, and Ginny are moms who have a passion for getting kids outdoors. Stemming from their backgrounds in health, fitness, and education, they are passionate about rivaling screen time with open-air dwelling. They are working to spotlight the myriad of health and developmental benefits that outside playtime provides. They have nine kids amongst them who all love running, building, picnicking, crawling, playing and napping in the open air. Their blog, 1000 Hours Outside is meant to encourage moms, dads, and caregivers everywhere to purposefully schedule outdoor time for their kids. 1000 Hours Outside hosts monthly prize and product giveaways to give families that extra incentive to make this investment into vibrant and healthy childhoods.

spring, play, guest blog, parent perspective, 1000 hours outside