Outdoors is Best

what is outdoors

Outdoors is any place outside away from your living quarters, where there is open air. It is any place that is in the open air.

There were days when our six were on top of each other with bickering and fighting. There was a restlessness among all of them, but nobody seemed to know why. The best remedy, I knew, was to send them all outside. It didn’t matter how hot or how cold it was – sending them outside fixed the problem. I think I even locked the doors to the house a few times – told them not to come back in until an allotted time was up. I’m certain the minimum was 15 minutes and sometimes, an hour.

You know what that did for me? It gave me time to reflect and evaluate. It also gave time for my blood pressure to get down where it belonged. 

You know what it did for the kids? It got them apart from each other, and before I knew it, they’d found something to do together even though they’d been bickering inside all the livelong day.

outsideOutdoor benefits

Sunshine and Vitamin D. Clear thinking in open spaces. Creativity and play. Fresh air and a natural filtration system in their sinuses. Playing outdoors provides room for creativity and imagination. It also clears the mind, especially in this era of many electronic choices for kids. Children should go outside, look up and out, instead of sequestered inside with their faces glued to screens on their phones, Ipads, or TV.

A child who has spent much of his time outdoors is less restless, less fretful, and less irritated. That’s why our kids were sent outside when they became cantankerous and flippant.

Children play harder when they are outdoors. This improves motor skills, cardiovascular health, and coordination. Outdoor play promotes socialization, especially when there are different ages playing together. Older kids learn to help younger kids, and younger kids learn from older ones as they play together.

Nature provides entertainment, exercise, and improves mood and concentration. Send an irritated child outdoors with nothing but his imagination and watch what happens to his mood. 

Outside for the win

When our kids are outside, we need to know where they are. Some areas are not safe for children to be out alone. In our rural area, I kept watch as my kids played in the front yard. There were enough of them that I wasn’t concerned about unwanted guests; however, we can never be too careful.

One day we received an alert that authorities were searching our neighborhood area for an escaped prisoner. I corralled our kids and some neighbor kids inside. They thought I was crazy, but I didn’t care. Sometimes having our kids outside means we must be there, too. This is also beneficial. Watching our kids at play (with siblings, cousins, or friends) helps us learn things we didn’t know before. Observing them when they don’t realize we are in tune with what’s happening is a great way to figure out relational issues among siblings and others.

An only child does not need playmates to play outside. Our youngest spent many a day playing football in the front yard by himself. He played both offense and defense. Sometimes one team won; sometimes the other. Sure, it’s great to have playmates, but don’t let the “only child syndrome” cause you to let him spend too much time indoors. 

When your children spend more time outside, they sleep better at night. They are more energized during the day, less grumpy, and more creative. This I know. I grew up in the outdoors, and so did our kids. Playing outside whenever possible is one of the best things our children can do.  

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