Thursday, March 15, 2012

Healthy Benefits for Children in Outdoor Play

The great outdoors is closer than you think.  Your child is one in a million .. Make Them One of 10 Million!

All children should experience the simple pleasures and lasting benefits of spending time outside. Join National Wildlife Federation's mission to get 10 million kids outside for their health & happiness!

The great outdoors is great for kids! Kids today spend an average of 7 hours a day in front of screens and only 30 minutes outside playing. Studies show outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imaginations and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly are shown to become better stewards of the environment.

Fast Facts About Outdoor Time and Children (Source:

• Children are spending half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago. (Juster et al 2004); (Burdette & Whitaker 2005); (Kuo & Sullivan 2001)

• Today, kids 8-18 years old devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media in a typical day (more than 53 hours a week). (Kaiser Family Foundation)

• In a typical week, only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside on their own. (Children & Nature Network, 2008)

• Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration. (Burdette and Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg et al., 2007)

• Sixty minutes of daily unstructured free play is essential to children’s physical and mental health. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008)

• The most direct route to caring for the environment as an adult is participating in “wild nature activities” before the age of 11. (Wells and Lekies, 2006)

Watch the video and take the pledge to be out there on your patio, in your backyard, neighborhood, and beyond!

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