Do you remember spending hours outside when you were younger? Maybe you enjoyed going for bike rides, walks, digging in the dirt, playing kickball, or swinging. I loved playing two-hand touch football in the street with any friends and friends of friends in the neighborhood. Someone would yell “car!” they saw a vehicle coming and we would all move to the side, wait for the car to drive by, and then happily reset the play. We would be outside almost every day for several hours. We weren’t pulled by digital distractions like texting, or watching short videos being fed to us in an endless stream of content. We just were. We had fun, enjoyed fresh air, the company of others, and nature. We learned how to work together, build a team, solve problems, handle disagreements, learn about each other, and expand our communication skills. Today I enjoy taking mindful walks in nature as often as possible. During these times, I feel happy to see kids and teens still playing outside together. Riding bikes, meeting up at the local playground (and getting there independently-woo-hoo!) and taking walks together are all great ways to be outside.
Here is an article about the power of playing outside.