Summer is here and like every year, it has brought on the debate over whether children should spend more time playing outside, or if it’s too hot and you should keep your kids inside for the majority of the day.
There are plenty of strong arguments for both cases. Creative and interesting activities can be found for children both indoors and outside. Here’s what experts at Uptown Jungle in North Las Vegas have to say about the topic.
Base Your Decisions on the Weather
Whether you should let your children play outside or not in the summer largely depends on the weather. As certain parts of the country are experiencing temperatures well exceeding 100 degrees, it would be pretty irresponsible to let your children just run around in the sun.
According to some weather experts, the heat combined with humidity can create a very dangerous combination where sweating is no longer an effective method of thermoregulation. Since the air is saturated with moisture, sweating stops working, potentially causing serious problems. That’s why a more exact temperature reading called ‘wet bulb temperature’ exists.
Indoor Activities Boost Creativity
When children are spending more time indoors, they can focus more on the creative ways of spending time. Activities such as painting, or arts and crafts can really help your child develop their imagination, as well as practice their fine motor skills.
Even if children are not engaged in creative pursuits like painting, but rather playing with toys, indoor toys tend to be more oriented towards education, creativity and learning. Just think of endless ways blocks such as Legos can be combined.
Kids Are Less Likely to Be Injured Indoors
As the activities associated with indoor play are less dynamic and active, injuries tend to be less common. Even though some parents suggest that injuries are teachable events and should be a part of growing up, others tend to be less enthusiastic about this topic.
If your child is prone to injuries when playing outdoors, you may consider finding a playground with plenty of safety features, or steering your child towards indoor activities.
Outdoor Activities Are Important for Health
On the other hand, outdoor activities are important for the other important aspect of a child’s development – health and physical activity. For instance, exposure to natural sunlight is almost the only natural source of vitamin D. Therefore, the lack of sun can cause deficiencies in vitamin D and lower their bone strength.
Additionally, physical activity itself has numerous benefits. Not least of them is vision. In some research, scientists have found that children who spend more time outdoors have better eyesight than those who had less exposure to the great outdoors. They tentatively conclude that the need to switch between looking at close and far-away objects helps hone the eyesight.
Attention Span and Outdoors
Another unforeseen benefit of playing outdoors is that children tend to develop more focused minds when they are exposed to more outdoors and greenery. Playing outdoors also helps develop independent thinking in children on top of all the benefits to their physical health.
Combine the Two
Choosing between the indoor and outdoor activities is pretty much not a choice at all – children need both types of activities in order to develop properly and have a healthy and happy lives. Striking a happy balance can be a challenge, but not impossible.
However, if the weather prohibits you from having too many outdoor activities, consider indoor playgrounds – they provide the vast majority of the benefits of outdoors, but in a climate-controlled environment and with plenty of safety features not always available in outdoor playgrounds.