When my generation were kids, Mom would kick us out the door and say” See ya for Supper!” This of course is the same generation without TV’s or Computers. It wasn’t until later that we were exposed to the technology and couch potato syndrome. We were up with the Sun and spent most of our time outside.
Today’s kids would be perfectly happy to stay indoors playing video games, sheltered, and quarantined, if they could selfie, Twit, Tweet, Facebook, email, instant message, Zoom, or insulate themselves from the world. Somehow, they can get bullied, bully, shame, or interact without facing any risks. When we were kids, we were able to fight back or ignore the stupidity.
The truth is that Kids Need to Be Outside! We are beings that rely on our environment to stay healthy. Our immune system gets stronger as it is exposed to the Cooties and germs that live in our world. There are 6 primary reasons why being outdoors is important.
- SUN Sunshine provides us with life. Vitamin D is so important. The Sun helps with bone development, immunity, mood, and overall health. The foods we consume also rely on the Sun.
- EXERCISE If you do not use it, you lose it. Muscles stay strong when used. Most of our bodies are made of muscle that covers and allows for movement. These muscles are then covered by skin, the largest organ in the human body. Keeping the body in motion keeps us in tune, functioning, and strong.
- MAKING CHOICES Playing outside requires us to pick and choose. When we play with our friends, we need to plan, make rules, referee games, choose, decide, network, teamwork, multitask, and solve problems. The only way to master these skills is through trial and error.
- TAKING RISKS!!! A kid needs to learn their limits. Sometimes this can result in injury, but we learn hard lessons from hard mistakes. This risk taking does not happen in structured activities. Organized sports have limits and rules built in, Risk taking means that there are not any. Learning is Trial and Error.
- SOCIALIZATION Communication, making friends, helping others, and avoiding bad people comes from personal experience. This will not happen online. Body language, voice inflection, and other behaviors need to be close and personal, when playing. Sometimes a Bully needs a smack in the mouth, or some type of appropriate immediate response. Friends need to learn when to help and not stand by.
- LOVE Loving family, nature, friends, and life happens when you interact with them. Sheltered learning is a crutch not a safety net. The world is a changing place. There is no better place to embrace the change than by being outdoors during our changing seasons.
As the weather improves, the quarantine relaxes, and our days get longer, get outdoors!
For more Montana Grant, find him outdoors at www.montanagrantfishing.com.