TIME OUT: A New Year’s Resolution for the Whole Family

NWF's Be Out There program will be there throughout the year with activities, ideas and inspirations to get more green time into kid’s lives.

12-31-2012 // Mary Burnette
Boy playing in mud

One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to “spend more time with my family”. National Wildlife Federation says one of the best ways to keep that resolution all year long is to head outdoors where families can enjoy time together while improving the physical and mental health of their children. 

In 2013 resolve to Be Out There and spend more time in the company of Mother Nature. By doing this, families can recapture an essential part of childhood that is being lost; the part that makes outdoors the favorite play space. It’s easier than you think to work into a family routine and National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There program will be there throughout the year with activities, ideas and inspirations to get more green time into kid’s lives. 

New research by National Wildlife Federation showed that a lot of parents agree about the importance of outdoor play time:

  • More than half of moms surveyed believe kids should get at least an hour per day of outdoor time
  • 94 percent say their kids are not getting enough outside play
  • 78 percent would like to get their kids outside more
  • One-third of moms feel guilty their kids aren’t outside playing more often

While acknowledging its importance, parents also shared the biggest road blocks for making outdoor time happen: weather (61 percent), safety concerns (38 percent), lure of technology (36 percent), homework (31 percent). Add to that all the extra-curricular activities that kids today are involved in and it’s not hard to understand why outdoor play time is losing ground.

Kids Jumping Outside

Besides family time, the outdoors offers many emotional and physical benefits to children of all ages:

  • Stronger – Sunshine helps kids’ bodies create Vitamin D, essential to building strong bones and preventing disease,
  • Leaner – Overweight and obese kids may have shorter life spans. Giving kids the run-around outdoors helps them maintain a healthy weight,
  • Kinder – Mom always said “play nice”. When kids play outdoors they tend to go just that, fostering compassion and improving social bonds,
  • Calmer – In today’s overscheduled world, kids need more R&R. Research shows stress levels fall within minutes of being outside,
  • Smarter – Kids who spend time playing and exploring outdoors learn teamwork and problem-solving skills. They also score higher on cognitive and standardized tests.
  • Caring – Playing outside is life insurance for the planet: children who spend time outdoors as kids are more likely to care about wild things and wild places when they become adults.

Join the Be Out There movement in 2013 and resolve to make family outdoor time a priority:

There’s a reason they call it the great outdoors and a New Year’s Resolution to Be Out There will help your children understand why. This is one time out the whole family will enjoy.

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