Summer break is a hotly anticipated time of year for all kids, whether they’re still in kindergarten or already in school. Unfortunately, kids often end up using their months of freedom counterproductively. Laying on the couch with a cell phone, playing video games, or watching TV is easy and provides instant gratification in a way that’s very enticing and addictive for kids with relatively little self control.
It’s up to parents to ensure that their kids make the most of their free time, and that means getting them out of the house and moving. A great way to do that is to encourage outdoor play on your backyard swing set, and other active play in the yard, the local park, or on the playground.
Building healthy habits
As most of us know, it’s incredibly difficult to develop healthy habits later in life. With the guidance of parents, however, it’s much easier to build a routine of exercise and outdoor activity that will help them to develop physically, and keep them fit and healthy for the rest of their lives.
Swings, monkey bars, slides, balance beams, and other playground equipment are designed to develop your child’s strength, flexibility, and balance. In the long run, this will improve their ability to focus in school when it comes back into session, improve their posture, and strengthen their immune systems.
Getting outside isn’t just about exercise
In an increasingly urbanized world, children are being exposed to natural environments less with every generation. Scientific research has linked this lack of exposure to nature to a number of issues, most significantly a major uptick in the number and severity of the allergies our children have. Not only is it healthy to touch and be exposed to nature in a general sense, some of the bacteria present on plants and in simple dirt are actually essential in helping to regulate our immune systems and to keep it in normal working order.
Outside play is also critically important to help maintain proper socialization for kids. Texting and chatting online simply is no replacement for playing with friends in person. On top of this, exposure to sunlight helps to boost vitamin D production, which improves mood and also strengthens the immune system. Your swing set, and the time your kids spend playing on it this summer, will boost your children’s development into healthy young adults, and make their free time productive even though school is out and they’re having fun.