SPS Voice

Play Outside!
Dr. Ryan Killeen

Today we enjoy a very special gift, a warm spring like day in late February. In honor of the day we are having no homework tonight. After months of cold weather, fresh air and sunshine are exactly what our kids need most.

Outdoor play is an essential component for positive child development. Play builds imagination, fosters creativity, and promotes independent problem solving skills. It lets kids be kids exploring nature and developing positive social skills. (https://www.education.com/reference/article/importance-play--social-emotional/ )

Outdoor activity creates lifelong habits of health and wellness. It’s a perfect way to manage stress and anxiety, build physical stamina, and supports improved sleep patterns. (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182 ) Outdoor physical activity also contributes to positive cognitive development. It allows the mind to be more prepared for academic work. That’s one of the reasons that recess is such a crucial part of the school day. As I write the office is flooded with sunshine as I listen to the joyful excitement of recess outside.

Today everyone’s homework is to be in the great outdoors. A gorgeous February day doesn’t come very often. When talking with fellow parents we often lament the challenges and struggles kids must face today. While its true times have changed, we can all seize the opportunities to celebrate childhood and let our kids play outside until the sun goes down. Hopefully no homework tonight will make that a bit easier. Stay off of screens and be active exploring God’s gift of creation.


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