Let your kid play outdoors — it’ll benefit him

Why outdoor play is vital to your child’s all-round development, especially in building his resilience to meet challenges he’ll encounter.

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Ferrying Junior to various enrichment classes, supervising him as he does his homework and then taking on a mountain of household chores. With so many things dominating your waking hours on most weekends, you may put making time for pure, unbridled outdoor play on the back burner.

Add to the list the dirty, muddied laundry that comes with letting your child play outdoors, and you are more than ready to hand over your iPad to him.

But MindChamps PreSchool @ City Square Mall principle, Dorothy Tan notes the physical and mental stimulation that comes with play does have a place in your child’s development. “Sitting has been shown to increase fatigue and reduce concentration, while moderate to vigorous movement feeds oxygen, water and glucose to the brain, optimising its performance.”

“Sitting has been shown to increase fatigue and reduce concentration, while moderate to vigorous movement feeds oxygen, water and glucose to the brain, optimising its performance.”

Unfortunately, children in Singapore seem to be getting too much screen time. A study by DQ Institute and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), found that nine-year-olds are spending over 24 hours a week — or about three and a half hours daily — on electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The study which surveyed 1,407 children aged between eight and 12 was conducted from August to December last year.

Tan points out playing outside will not only benefit your child’s physical skills like motor skills, body coordination and cardiovascular endurance. It also enhances his thinking skills as well.