I was shocked to learn about this day (which is really not a single day but 12 days throughout the year!) and realize that I had never really heard of it. Particularly as a physical therapist in the youth setting, this is right in my lane! It turns out, the first Saturday of every month is National Outdoor Play Day. And living here in California we have little excuse throughout the year to not be getting off our devices and outdoors. Check out some of our ideas below for observing this monthly celebration and read on for reminders of the benefits of play!
Play is so important to development! It helps with language development, social skills, spatial and problem solving skills and lowers stress. Physically active play maintains our mental and physical health as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to use play to help meet their child’s overall health and developmental needs and the Center for Disease Control encourages 60 minutes of play a day to maintain health and drive down the rising rates of obesity in America.
Ways to celebrate:
- Explore nearby hiking trails and local parks.
- Visit the local swimming pool or even take swimming lessons.
- Start a game of catch, kickball, tag, Frisbee or make up a game.
- Go to the beach.
- Run through the sprinkler.
- Go camping.
- Go fishing.
- Walk around the block.
- Go for a bike ride.
How will you get outside and play?