Why Green Time Should Be Your Child’s Summer Priority

Here's why Tier Pediatrics encourages you and your family to get outside and play!

By Tier Pediatrics July 9, 2024

At Tier Pediatrics, we understand the allure of screen time. Educational apps, captivating shows, and video games can all be fun and engaging for children. However, there’s a whole world waiting to be explored beyond the digital realm, and it offers benefits that screens simply can’t replicate. This summer, we encourage you to prioritize green time over screen time for your child’s physical and mental well-being.

Nature’s Playground: A Symphony of Benefits

Stepping outside isn’t just a change of scenery; it’s a gateway to a treasure trove of developmental advantages. Here’s how immersing your child in nature can make a positive impact:

  • Nature’s Gym: Parks, playgrounds, and even your own backyard serve as fantastic fitness centers. Climbing structures, running around, and playing tag are all fantastic ways for children to burn energy, develop gross motor skills, and build strong muscles. This active play is crucial for healthy growth and development – something that’s often lacking in a screen-dominated world.
  • Stress Relief & Mental Well-being: The hustle and bustle of daily life can take a toll on adults and children alike. But there’s a simple antidote: nature. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can significantly reduce stress levels, improve mood, and boost focus. It’s a much-needed escape from the constant stimulation of screens, promoting relaxation and emotional well-being.
  • Creativity & Imagination: Unlike the structured world of screens, the outdoors offer endless possibilities for exploration and discovery. Unstructured play allows children to unleash their creativity, build forts, invent games, and foster a sense of wonder as they interact with the natural world. This freedom sparks curiosity, problem-solving skills, and a connection to the environment around them.
  • Building Memories & Bonds: Some of life’s most cherished memories are forged outdoors. Whether it’s a family hike, a backyard picnic, or a campfire sing-along, these shared experiences in nature create lasting bonds. Spending quality time together fosters communication, strengthens family connections, and cultivates a deeper appreciation for the world we share.

Striking the Right Balance: Screen Time Guidelines

While we advocate for plenty of green time, we recognize that screens can still be a part of a child’s life. To ensure a healthy balance, consider the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

  • Under 2 years old: No screen time is recommended.
  • 2-5 years old: Limit screen time to a maximum of 1 hour per day of high-quality programming.

Remember, quality matters more than quantity. Choose age-appropriate, educational shows or apps that are interactive and encourage learning.

Leading by Example: Make it a Fun Family Affair!

Children learn best by observing their parents. To truly encourage outdoor play, limit your own screen time and actively engage with your child outdoors. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Nature Walks: Explore your neighborhood park, go on a scavenger hunt for different colored leaves or interesting bugs, or practice your birdwatching skills.
  • Backyard Adventures: Pitch a tent, roast marshmallows over a fire pit (with adult supervision!), and tell stories under the stars. You can even create a backyard obstacle course or plant a garden together, teaching your child about plant growth and the joy of homegrown produce.
  • Park Playdates: Visit your local park or playground, where children can climb, swing, and use their imaginations to create imaginative games with friends.

Investing in the Future: Prioritize Green Time

Green time isn’t just about fun and games; it’s a vital investment in your child’s physical and mental well-being. By prioritizing outdoor play, you’re helping them develop strong bodies, healthy minds, and a deep appreciation for the natural world. So put down the screens, step outside, and create lasting memories that will enrich your child’s life for years to come.

Want to learn more about healthy screen time habits for your child? Contact Tier Pediatrics today! Our team of experienced pediatricians is happy to discuss your concerns and offer personalized guidance.

This article is sponsored by Tier Pediatrics, a valued sponsor of Macaroni KID Binghamton. We appreciate your support in reviewing our sponsors' articles and hope that their offerings are useful for you and your family. Macaroni KID Binghamton is run by a local mom and this website is supported solely by our local sponsors. If you would like to join our network of family-friendly businesses and connect with local parents in Binghamton, Johnson City, Vestal, Apalachin, Owego, and beyond, please reach out and learn how you can share your services with our readers!