Outdoor Play: For The Health of It

Outdoor PlayAs a working man, it’s easy to find yourself so tired at the end of the day that you just want to plop yourself down in front of the TV and become catatonic for a few hours.  To some extent, a little bit of “me” time when you get home can actually do wonders to recharge. 

As a father of a toddler, however, you only have a short amount of time to squeeze in with your kids for some playtime on weeknights, so the weekend is when you’re actually able to make some serious playtime plans.  Weather permitting, those plans are often best made for outdoor activity.  The keyword there is activity.

While it’s often tempting to bring a stroller to push our kids around, consider leaving it behind and allowing them to walk or run around.  Not only does outdoor play give them a better sense of freedom than when they’re indoors—especially since you’re not continuously telling them not to run, jump, etc.—but it also gives them the perfect opportunity to get some good exercise, fresh air, and it helps develop a pathway toward future physical activity.

Plus, you can also get a good dose of exercise and fresh air for yourself by playing with them.  Not only will it make you feel younger to run around with your kids (if you can keep up), but it can also mean that you force yourself to get unplugged from electronic ties to work as well as setting a good example for your children with regards to being active and focused on family relationships.  

Yet another benefit of playing outdoors with your little ones is that they’ll soon be not-so-little ones who have plans of their own which don’t necessarily involve Dad running around with them all the time.  Enjoy it while you can.