Outdoor time is so important for children. In our busy world, some free play outside, immersing your chid in the healing powers of nature is an incredible gift. I think of it as the antidote for many things parents struggle with. Hyperactivity, impulsivity, tantrums, aggression - nature can help with all of these. I love the website called 1000 Hours Outside, promoting the idea of aiming for 1000 hours of outside time each year. This averages to about 20 hours a week or about 3 hours a day.
Providing adequate outdoor play time is vital to the development and overall wellness of children. It's also an opportunity for social development as well. And - it's time they aren't inside watching TV or on a device, which children spend 1200 hours a year doing...if 1000 hours outside seemed like too much. I totally get that for many families between school and homework it may be hard to fit this in, but try for weekends or whenever you can squeeze some extra time in. In fact - this is one of many reasons we are considering some version of homeschooling. The average recess time has fallen to 20 minutes. Texas is working out some recess issues. Some parts of Texas actually eliminated recess completely, and other schools get one recess period per WEEK. Another Texas school increased recess to four 15 minute periods, and saw "immediate positive results".
We are lucky to live somewhere that getting outdoor play most days of the year is pretty easy. Recent favs have been tide pooling at La Jolla cove, sailing with some wonderful friends, and on some runs and bike rides with our toddler.