In a modern world where most people are glued to their technology of choice, making time to get outdoors is a luxury that cannot be ignored. Spending time in nature is essential to a healthy, balanced life. Not only does playing outside improve one’s physical health, but it also benefits one’s mental health.
It may be hard to set aside the time to go outside every day, but the first Saturday of every month comes as the perfect reminder. Ever since 2011, the first Saturday of every month is National Play Outside Day. The day is intended to encourage more people to spend time outside playing sports or other doing other physical activities.
According to a recent report by Outdoor Foundation, about half the U.S. population participated in outdoor recreation at least once in 2018. This means that just under half the U.S. population did not participate in outdoor recreation at all. In addition, an article from the Child Mind Institute showed that the average American child spends about four to seven minutes a day playing outside; whereas, they spend over seven hours a day in front of a screen.
Why it’s so important to play outside?
- Being in the sun provides you with Vitamin D
- It raises your endorphin levels and leads to a positive mindset
- The outdoors can also improve your short term memory
- It lowers blood pressure and helps with mental and physical fatigue
- Playing outside helps increase your white blood cell count and strengthens your immune system
- Outdoor play provides terrific physical activity for our bodies. Our hearts pump fresh oxygen to our limbs and brains
- When you play outside every month, it becomes habit-forming – and this one good habit to have
- Finally, it promotes creativity and imagination. Outdoor play almost has no boundaries. Your yard can be a kingdom or the playground can be a mountain to scale.
In honor of the next National Play Outside Day on Nov. 6, GrantWatch is sharing 10 grants below that provide funding to projects that help more children be able to play outside.
10 Grants to Get Kids Outside and Playing
- Firstly, grants are available to U.S. nonprofits for fitness and running programs to improve children’s health. Funding of up to $10,000 will go towards programs that that increase the well-being of children and youth through physical activities.
- Additionally, there are In-kind grants to municipalities, nonprofits, and schools in multiple states to design and build play areas. The purpose of this program is to enhance low-income communities that do not have a play space or need to replace an unsafe or outdated playground.
- There are also grants to U.S. middle schools for after school athletics. Funding will support the acquisition of uniforms and equipment for after-school athletics programming.
- In-kind donations to U.S. nonprofit organizations, groups, municipalities, and schools to create community play spaces for children and youth age 10 and up from low-income communities.
- Grants of up to $500 to U.S. nonprofit organizations and government entities for archery programs for youth. Funding is to support equipment purchases and range enhancements for organizations that provide archery programming for youth.
- In addition, there are grants to U.S. sports organizations to create new or expand existing sports opportunities for girls and young women in underserved populations.
- Grants to U.S. daycares, schools, parks, and nonprofit organizations serving children and youth for projects that increase the safety of outdoor play spaces. Funding may be used for the cost of materials and installation of shade structures. Grantees will also receive a permanent sign to be placed near the shade structure featuring sun-safety tips.
- In-kind assistance to U.S. nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies to create skateboard parks in disadvantaged communities. Funding is to support the design, development, and construction of new facilities and parks that are safe, free, and open to the public throughout the year.
- There are also in-kind grants for U.S. schools for recreational activities. Funds will go to implement a bicycle riding program in an elementary school.
- Finally, there are grants available to U.S. families to provide access to sports programs for youth from income-restricted families. Grants of up to $150 will provide scholarships for sports participation to children ages 4-18.
GrantWatch hopes everyone takes advantage of this holiday. Here are some ways to celebrate National Play Outside Day:
- Go to the park
- Make your own bubbles
- Try a new sport
- Go on a hike
- Fly a kite
- Go on a bike ride
- Have a picnic
- Wash the car
- Set up a lemonade stand
- Take a nap or read in a hammock
- Take your pet on a walk