Getting kids to play outdoors is as actually as simple as opening the door to your own backyard or community green space. But as parents know, this is sometimes easier said than done.
New research out of Canada suggests that encouraging outdoor play in shorter, more frequent intervals can boost physical activity.
The scientists discovered that preschoolers are most active during the first 10 minutes of outdoor time. Chalk it up to looser rules around movement and noise levels or simply the excitement of a change of scenery – being outdoors naturally encourages kids to be more active.
The researchers concluded that getting kids outside for shorter periods of time more frequently actually maximizes children’s physical activity. While the study was conducted on children in a childcare setting, the conclusions can apply to children in their home environments, as well.