Over the past few decades, schools have increasingly cut recess and play time for kids, and increasingly limited the activities kids can engage in while taking breaks. As a result, children are getting less exercise than ever. This is meant to improve safety and make more time for learning, but often has the opposite effect. Kids need to be outside and to play actively to burn off energy and to help them focus their minds.
Where schools fail, parents must step up. Installing a swing set in your backyard and ensuring that they have time and facilities they need for regular active play can help them to learn more easily and to do better academically.
Exercise helps Kids Concentrate
Children have very high metabolisms and a lot of energy to burn. On top of this, they’re constantly growing, which means the way their bodies move and function is constantly changing.
Kids are naturally driven to move around and play to facilitate their healthy development, and preventing them from doing this is unhealthy, because it forces them to mentally exhaust themselves just in trying to focus over their restless need to move around. Letting them go outside to run around and play helps kids to get rid of this jittery distraction, giving them the opportunity to concentrate on mental tasks when they need to.
Sunlight helps to fight fatigue
Going outside and sitting on a swing to catch the some rays doesn’t just feel nice in the moment, it’s an important part of maintaining your and your kids’ health. Most children and adults in the US have low levels of Vitamin D. This is mostly a result of a lack of exposure to sunlight, which helps our bodies to create it. We spend most of our time indoors, and as a result, we’re forced to deal with the consequences. Low Vitamin D causes muscle weakness and has been linked to chronic fatigue. Additionally, sunlight directly impacts melatonin production, and a lack of natural sunlight can negatively impact sleep and make it difficult to feel alert and awake in the morning.
Active Play helps to reset the Brain
It’s difficult for kids to concentrate for more than a few minutes at a time before they need to switch gears. Trying to push this requires immense effort, and often results in low quality work and mental fatigue. Because of this, it’s never a great idea to have your kids sit down to do their homework immediately after school. After a day of sustained focus, children are mentally exhausted and need a reset. Going outside to clamber around on a swing set gives them the opportunity to apply their brain to processing physical and social tasks, and gives them that fresh start that they need before they’ll be able to give their undivided attention to their school work.