Riding down the driveway on my sister's bike (that was too big for me), I fell off. I don't remember exactly why I wasn't riding my own bike, whether it had a flat tire or whether it was because I liked the thrill of using things of my sister's when I wasn't supposed to be doing so. Either way, I fell off and I skinned my leg. But I moved on. Did I cry? Probably. Did I run away from it for a while? Probably. Did I try again later? Probably. Did this help my drive, not just as a kid riding a bike, but as an adult for later in life? Absolutely.
There are lots of things that happen when kids get outside and learn about the world. I really am not sure why these things even have to be discussed anymore when there is so much out there that talks about these types of benefits. But let's talk about them again anyways.
1. They might just hold a bug
Yep. Sorry if this grosses you out but even those girlie-girls need this. Holding a small creature and treating it with care. Catch it and observe it for awhile but don't hurt it! Give it food and let it be. See how it behaves. Biology (the study of living things) is so important to our younger generations. You never know what they might come up with when they grow up. New inventions based off of how animals behave. Scientists and experimentalists all started somewhere. Let them get dirty. Let them see what the world is all about. Don't just let them watch, but let them touch.
2. They might just laugh
Laughter is the best medicine for sure. Laughter brings calmness. Laughter brings healthy relationships. Laughter brings happiness. Laughter equals less stress. What can go wrong here? Playing outside brings laughter and fond childhood memories. What are you waiting for? Join them!
3. They are guaranteed to use their imaginations
So nobody said this was going to be easy! Being outside forces you to actually use your imaginations! What do you want to do today? Climb a tree and pretend you are on a ship and you see land ahead of you! You must tell your crew! Or run and play tag pretending you are a bee trying to get to it's food. Give them cardboard boxes and let them show you the biggest mansions you have ever seen. Obviously my imagination is not that great but I'm sure your kids could come up with better things to do! Test them!
4. They might get some exercise
Running around and climbing things and using muscles. Exercise is just what they need. Staying in front of the T.V. all day or sitting in their classroom chair, they get none of that! Smelling the outdoors and hearing the outdoors just gives you energy. Can you feel it?
5. They might get sunburned or rained on
Be careful. Too much time outside can give them sunburn and it might even just rain on them. These are good signs that your kids love the outdoors. Extreme play comes with extreme consequences. But of course you can prevent these things from being harmful. Sunscreen and rain boots anyone? Don't let it stop them!
6. They might just have fun
Who is to say that they won't have fun! Even kids that don't get outdoors often will try and claim that they aren't having fun. They just don't know what kind of fun there is to be had. Leave them out there. Do not give in. They need their own memories and and they need to know what it is like to be that kid that has no responsibilities and carefree. When was the last time you actually felt carefree? Try and get your kids to see that it can be fun. But don't try too hard to help them achieve it. It is something they need to experience on their own.
7. They might just want to do it again
Heck, the T.V. and the video games may actually end up staying off! If they enjoy themselves too much (what is too much enjoyment anyways?) then they actually may not want to come in. Hey, you can't say I didn't warn you about it. No coming back to me saying that your kids don't want to come in for dinner because they are having too much fun. I think that just means we are doing our jobs well if that occurs.