A 2012 study found that almost half of preschool kids don’t play outside each day. The study was conducted by Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington and focused on 9,000 U.S. kids during their last year of preschool. And unfortunately, the numbers for grade school kids are even higher according to a study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in 2011.

207The lure of the indoors is certainly stronger than ever with the TV, video games, smart phones and tablets all vying for your kids’ attention. But the advantages of outdoor play vastly outnumber those of indoor “play” so it’s critical that you get your kids outside! In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics says that unstructured play is critical to the health of our kids. Here are just a few of the benefits we’ve found:

– Physical – Playing outdoors has been shown to engage and increase muscle strength and coordination and enhance kids’ ability to complete various physical skills. Plus, exercise is paramount to staying healthy. It strengthens the immune systems and increases vitamin D levels, which are important for reducing the chances of diseases like osteoporosis and diabetes.

– Mental – Playing outdoors engages kids’ minds and imaginations. It has also shown to provide better focus in the classroom and increase critical thinking skills.

– Emotional – It’s hard to believe that kids in elementary school deal with anxiety and depression, but unfortunately it is the truth. Outdoor play has been proven to reduce stress levels and increase a child’s ability to deal with stress. Outside play can also be a source of self-confidence leading to better self-image.

– Social – Being outdoors provides your kids with more opportunities to meet other kids and teaches them skills like negotiation and conflict resolution. These types of skills are critical to thriving in group environments throughout their lives.

So what are you waiting for? Make it a priority to get your kids outdoors so that they can reap the benefits of outdoor play. Happy Backyards™ in Franklin offers all the tools that can help make your backyard a fun place to play for your kids, so stop by today if you’re interested in trampolines, playsets or basketball hoops!

Happy Backyards™ sells and installs only the safest and highest quality residential playground equipment, basketball goals, and trampolines for your own home. We are a local company and have been doing it for 15 years with a focus on quality products, quality service, and competitive low pricing.