If you’ve never heard of National Play Outside Day, you probably have questions. What is it? When Is It? Why do we need a holiday to play outside?
All good questions – and, thankfully, easy to answer! Read on to learn all about this fun-loving holiday and prepare to play your heart away!
What is National Play Outside Day?
Celebrated on the first Saturday of every month, National Play Outside Day is a monthly reminder to step away from the screens and spend some time engaging our brains and bodies in the great outdoors.
It first began in 2011, when founders Aaron Wiggins and Rhonda D. Abeyta became concerned about the effects drastically increased screen time was having on children’s physical and mental well-being. To combat the rise in digital devices, the two pioneered a campaign to encourage kids and adults to remember the importance (and fun!) of playing outside.
Today, the day is recognized every month as a chance to stretch our legs and imaginations with some good ol’ fashioned outdoor play.
The Benefits of Outdoor Play
As it turns out, our parents were right – playing outside really is better than sitting indoors. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that kids today spend only four to seven minutes per day in unstructured outdoor play – but a whopping seven and half hours in front of electronic media.
Outdoor activity has amazing benefits for all ages, but it’s especially beneficial for children. The perks of outdoor play include:
- Improved Physical Fitness
- Social and Cognitive Development
- Stress Reduction and Improved Mental Health
- Better Sensory Skills
- Stronger Respiratory Systems
- And More!
How To Celebrate National Play Outside Day
There are no schedules or activities for National Play Outside Day – just a chance to get outside and have some fun with your friends and family! If you need some inspiration, here are some fun ideas for outdoor play:
- Go for a family walk or bike ride
- Create a scavenger hunt around your neighborhood
- Start a game of tag, catch, hide-and-seek, or make up a new family game
- Visit your local lake or swimming pool
- Fly a kite
- Plan fun outdoor activities with other families