by Kiernan Black
Now is a good time to take inventory of your family’s “outdoorsiness!” How much time does your child spend outside each day? How much time do you spend with your child outside on a weekly basis? How much of that time is unstructured where your child is outside exploring with nature? After you take your inventory, if the number is below seven hours per week, we would like to encourage you to get outside more as a family. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends at least an hour a day or seven hours per week of outdoor play and exploration. Clocking in more than seven hours a week only serves your child better.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is spearheading an initiative to get 10 million kids outdoors over the next three years. (http://www.nwf.org/What-We-Do/Kids-and-Nature.aspx). In this age of technology, screen time use by children is alarmingly high while the time spent outdoors playing has decreased significantly. There has much research supporting the idea that the more time children spend outside with unstructured play, the more capable they are in the classroom. Please click on the NWF link below to discover some new ways to play outdoors with your child! You can even start creating your own list at home to refer to when you are in a pinch for something creative to do outdoors!
For more information on the benefits of unstructured outdoor play, please click on the following link: http://mommybites.com/col2/nanny/outdoor-play-and-your-childs-development/ .
Feel free to reach out to a Bala House staff member if you are in need of outdoor play ideas. We are always here to help!
The Bala House Teaching Staff