Improve Your Children’s Health With Springtime Activities
As springtime rolls around and the world begins to turn green again, we all long to get outdoors and soak up some sun — and often our kids are the most ready to get outside! The sunshine and warm weather can leave your entire family buzzing with extra energy, potentially making your kids more of a handful than they already are. When you know how to direct it, though, that extra energy is a good thing! With such beautiful weather, there’s a wealth of activities you can direct that energy into that will entertain your children and create lasting memories as a family while helping your children to grow up healthier. Plus, expending all their energy will ensure that they’re actually tired when it’s time for bed! Here are 5 ways you can help your kids grow up healthy while they enjoy the springtime.
Get Them Outside for Plenty of Springtime Fresh Air and Sunshine
Spending time outside is not only incredibly fun for your kids, but it’s also very healthy! The sun is our major natural source of vitamin D, which strengthens your children’s immune systems and helps their bodies absorb calcium and phosphorus. Since these nutrients are essential for building strong teeth and bones, getting enough vitamin D is essential for kids’ healthy growth. The simple act of running around and playing outside also provides a vital source of exercise for your child, which they need to help them grow strong muscles and bones, and physical activity helps them build good hand-eye coordination and executive function skills. The time away from screens may even improve their eyesight. Additionally, playing with other children builds social skills like cooperation and compromise. These skills will benefit your children as they grow up and become adults, helping them to live a healthier, happier life.
Enlist Their Help in Your Springtime Garden
If you have the space for a garden, involving your kids in the springtime process of growing and caring for the plants has a surprising range of benefits for them. It encourages them to spend time outside and increases their interest in healthy fruits and vegetables. Since they’ll likely feel more ownership towards the fruit and vegetables you’ve grown together in the garden, they’re more likely to be open to trying and eating them. They’ll have a healthier, more varied diet as a result, giving them the vitamins and minerals they need to grow up nourished and strong. Building these habits early on also goes a long way towards ensuring they’ll make healthier diet choices as an adult, too!
There’s even plenty of evidence that spending time in the dirt is actually great for your children’s immune system! They need to be exposed to germs and microbes in the dirt to build a strong, healthy immune system. If you protect your child from germs too well, it can actually harm them in the long run, leading to a weakened immune system that could cause them to develop allergies, autoimmune diseases, and a range of other health issues.
The task of caring for the plants themselves also expands your children’s minds in several ways, including by improving their executive function as well as their ability to focus. In fact, one study has found that kids with access to greener views in the city did better on tests that measure self-discipline, while other studies have demonstrated that kids learn better when they’re given time outside. At the end of the day, your kids will have a blast spending time with you in the garden and they’ll feel so proud when the plants they’ve been caring for produce fruit or flowers!
Visit Local State Parks
There are so many state parks near our hometown of Salem, Oregon that part of the springtime experience here involves visiting at least one of them with your family! Trips to state parks provide your child with a unique experience of nature beyond what you can find in your backyard. The parks have hosts of activities your family can take part in, from hiking and horseback riding to whale watching by the coast. Your family will be able to spend a day getting plenty of the exercise your kids need to grow strong, healthy bones and muscles. Spending time in nature is also great for your children’s mental health, as it’s proven to reduce stress in kids as well as in adults. Stress can also have very real physical effects on the body, so the relief that nature can bring often has very real health benefits for your entire family! Plus, you’ll gain an afternoon of making great memories and growing closer as a family.
Experience and Learn About Nature Together this Springtime
Many kids love experiencing and learning about nature — it’s interesting and fun, especially if you can mix it in with the time you’re spending outside as a family. It’s often as simple as pointing out plants and animals that you see outside and teaching your child their names, though giving them cool facts when possible will help your children stay engaged and interested. This is so simple that you can do it anywhere, whether you’re at a nearby state park or in your backyard. This keeps your kids’ minds active, improving their memories and focusing skills in a fun, interactive way. Your children will have so much fun learning about the different animals around them that they won’t even realize they’re giving their brains a workout! To them, it’s just fun — plain and simple!
Take Them to Their Regularly Scheduled Dentist Appointments
Oral health has a surprisingly significant impact on our overall health, especially as we reach adulthood. As a result, building healthy oral hygiene habits — including visiting the dentist every six months — early on in your children’s lives can have a lasting impact on their long-term health. In the short term, these treatments are just as vital. They allow your children’s pediatric dentist to keep an eye on the development of their teeth, spot issues like cavities or gum disease early, and perform professional cleanings that actively protect your children’s teeth from decay. Since baby teeth help guide adult teeth into the correct position, it’s important to keep them healthy until it’s time for the teeth to fall out naturally. These regular pediatric dentistry appointments will also give you the peace of mind that your children’s teeth are developing normally.
One of our most important jobs as parents is to care for our children’s health. Thankfully, springtime gives us the beautiful weather to plan activities that are healthy and fun for our children. Your children will have so much fun playing outside, gardening, or exploring nature in a park that they won’t even realize they’re doing something healthy — and you’ll create plenty of new memories to treasure as a family for years to come.