5 Benefits of Outdoor Play for Children
In today’s technology focused world, it is important that quality time in the outdoors is still a priority. “Spending time outdoors without technology is a nice opportunity for children to socialize with peers, become independent and learn responsibility,” said Liz Robbin, Camp Firefly Director. Camp Firefly is a summer camp for children, teens and young adults who oftentimes have difficulty connecting with peers and navigating social situations.
Ensuring that children are active each day will positively impact them in a myriad of ways, including:
- Improving physical health
According to the American Heart Association, children that play in the sun for at least 60 minutes every day will experience physical, mental, and emotion benefits.
- Helping children form friendships
Whether kids are playing in their neighborhood with friends, joining an after-school sport, or going to a summer camp, playing outdoors gives children an opportunity to make and strengthen friendships with others in their community. Alec, a Camp Firefly camper shared, “I’ve made so many new friends and learned how to become a good friend because of camp.”
- Improving self-esteem
Stepping outside of your comfort zone and engaging in new experiences builds confidence in children. During Melanie’s first summer at camp, she was initially trepidatious about the high ropes course. However, after encouragement from her counselors she was brave enough to try it out. Four years of camp later, Melanie’s parents report that she “doesn’t shy away from the high ropes anymore and found out she loved the zip line!” At Camp Firefly, campers can choose from a variety of outdoor activities to try for the first time, from high ropes, to boating, to archery.
- Building creativity
Kids use their imagination to make up their own unstructured games while engaging with their outdoor surroundings. From arts and crafts to an end of summer talent show, Camp Firefly provides many creative opportunities for campers.
- Fostering a responsibility and appreciation for nature
Spending time in nature during your adolescence leads to an appreciation for our planet in adulthood. Observing animals in their natural habitat or witnessing firsthand what happens when a plant is trampled versus watered nurtures a responsibility as the next generation to take care of the Earth.
Join us this summer at Camp Firefly! Everything in our program, including the best of summer fun and exceptional therapeutic group activities, is designed to support campers with autism and other social challenges. By celebrating individual strengths and recognizing potential, campers develop self-confidence, improve self-esteem and enhance social skills. What campers experience at Camp Firefly not only makes camp remarkably special, but the benefits continue long after summer ends.