SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — With warmer weather finally coming around, it’s a good idea to get your kids outdoors and under the sun.

What are the four main benefits?

According to Dr. Laura Waters, there are four main benefits to having your children spend time outdoors. One of the main benefits is that children are healthier when they spend time outdoors.

“Obviously they are going to spend less time sitting,” said Dr. Waters. “They are going to be more active in their play which is going to reduce their chance for childhood obesity. It also helps to improve gross motor development.”

Children who play outside also have an improved mental health state. Children who spend more time outside tend to have less stress. It can help children who are diagnosed with ADHD.

This leads to the next benefit: better behaved.

“So, if kids are focusing better that can actually reduce the symptoms of ADHD,” said Dr. Waters. “They have improved impulse control. Kids who play outside also tend to be more creative and able to use their imagination.”

Being outside has been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms in children which leads to children being more engaged in learning at school.

Getting your kids outside

“One of the great things about being in this area is that there are several parks and trails,” said Dr. Waters. “Teams sports is a great way for not only team building but it’s a great way to get them active.”

  • Infants should have at least 30 minutes of active playtime
  • Toddlers should have at least three hours of active playtime
  • Preschoolers should have at least three hours including one hour of rigorous activity