Playing Outside, Critical for Children’s Wellness

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Houston’s Construction May Be Forcing Our Children to Stay Inside

houston construction, houston playground

Houston, Texas is one of the country’s largest cities. And it’s growing. Rapidly. Traffic is “bumper-to-bumper.” Virtually every corner has one, or more, construction sites. Apartments, restaurants, Houston Hobby Airport renovations, and grocery stores are resurrecting, street after street, in an already crowded town. Yet, with all the beautiful additions, we lag behind other major cities in outdoor facilities suitable for children and families, like swimming pools, tennis courts, and recreational parks. According to the 2015 American Fitness Index, we spend merely $36 to other major metropolis’ $101. As a result, Houston’s children are more likely to seek electronic play and remain inside. Our beautifully growing landscape, therefore, is missing a vital part of what makes Houston beautiful – our children. Their health and wellness are at risk.

why kids need to play outside

Why Children Need To Go Outside

Unlike generations past, our children are significantly couch-bound. It could be the nature of bustling city life, the lack of accommodating venues like parks and playgrounds, or perhaps, the dominance and chosen alternative of electronics: videogames, computers, smart phones and televisions. Whatever the reason, children who do not play outside are butterflies without wings. Their academic scores are lower, social skills are limited, and undetected childhood depression is largely more common than in children who regularly play outdoors. Even in major cities of limited space, like Houston, children have to, similar to butterflies, fly for ultimate survival. Fly Movement is committed to giving children their wings and the knowledge of how to use them. We visit Houston schools, teaching and showing children the joy of playing outdoors.


Is Playing Outside Safe?

Understandably, finding safe places to play is a significant concern. With vigilance, outside play can be safe, and it doesn’t have to be far from where you supervise or live. In Fly Movement’s school visits, we use group games and fitness challenges, under the direction of familiar and trusted adults, to encourage safe play. You can do the same at home. With just twenty minutes tossing a baseball outside your apartment complex, a sidewalk sprint, or neighborhood jump rope challenge in your driveway (how many times can you jump in one minute?), your children can benefit from outdoor adventures that will enrich their lives.

fitness trackers for kids

Electronics Aren’t Enough To Keep Kids Busy?

Though digital play is the contemporary alternative to outdoors, it does not provide vitamin D-fortified sunshine, physical strength, or empathy in relationships; nor does it sharpen a child’s ability to detect “stranger-danger,” the confidence to ward off bullies, or the resourceful savvy to navigate real life, city life in particular. Playing outside, does. Such ventures are a natural element of a healthy rounded childhood; they are important for all children, but city kids in particular, to inquire about lives around them and to truly breathe.

What Is There To Do Outside?

IN THIS SUMMER HEAT, PLEASE STAY HYDRATED but go out and use your imagination, or visit, for safe outdoor activities. Everyone, including and especially our children, deserve to experience a growing Houston, from the outside!

About the Author

Stephanie Tillman volunteers her content writing to Fly Movement. She is a Texas licensed attorney and flight attendant. She pens creative nonfiction and web content from her Houston, Texas home.