How often do you take your kids to the park? I know for us it is not nearly enough. It’s important for kids to stay active, be in fresh air and run in open spaces.
Parks are often thought of as just a place to play, but they are important for so many reasons. They often contain community gardens, they help with the environment, they include waterfront promenades, some including fishing lakes. They are key for including beauty, breathing room, open spaces and of course a place for community events. Understanding that the parks play such pivotal roles in our cities and for our kids is key in taking advantage of al that they have to offer. There are many benefits to taking children to parks and allowing them to play with and around nature. Did you know these facts?
- Kids with ADHD can focus easier and better after playing in a nature area
- Children who play regularly in natural environments show more advanced motor fitness, including coordination, balance and agility, and they are sick less often
- Nature helps children develop powers of observation and creativity and instills a sense of peace and being at one with the world
- Natural environments stimulate social interaction between children
- Play in outdoor environments stimulates all aspects of children development more readily than indoor environments
- Early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked with the development of imagination and the sense of wonder
Are you surprised by these facts? I was. It is easy to forget that kids need to have room to roam, places to have different experiences and time to just be free of walls and noise.
The National Park Trust wants us to pledge to take our kids to the park. They have already had 37,000 people pledged on the Kids to Parks Day page to celebrate May 16 in a park. The goal is to get 500,000 sign ups. You can pledge to take your Kids to Parks Day here. Lets help them reach this goal!
In addition to all of the benefits listed above it is so important to keep our kids moving and to take advantage of the time that we are at the park with our kids. It can be so much more fun than sitting and watching them play while we play Candy Crush on our phones, one mom even came up with this great obstacle course for her kids!
Park Obstacle Course
1. Run around the playground once.
2. Go up the stairs and slide down the big slide.
3. Go back up the stairs and run across the mats to the monkey bars.
4. Go across the monkey bars and jump down.
5. Climb up the rope wall and go down the small slide.
6. Run to the swings and get as high as possible within 10 swings.
7. Run around the playground again.
Be creative and very supportive with this type of playtime. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the smiles on your kids’ sweaty faces. Of course you can tweak this for your park and your kids ages, but how much fun would this be?
The National Park Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. We are the nation’s only organization dedicated to the completion, and the full appreciation, of the American system of local, state and national parks through the identification of key land acquisition and preservation needs. We are not content with merely building out our nation’s system of parks; our vision is based on the belief that there is a necessity to engage young people with our treasured natural areas.
Lets get our kids to the parks, and while you are at it, take the neighbor kids, or your nieces and nephews, heck take all the kids you know and have a picnic. Lets make this 5th National Take Your Kid to the Park Day the biggest yet! Just to make sure you have a great time at the park, The National Park Trust is having a giveaway for this great Bison Prize Pack. Enter Below and Good Luck!