Encourage children to roll down a hill–rolling is a great way to develop the sensory system and maintain good health into old age.
Do you remember rolling down grassy hills as a child? I sure do. I remember rejoicing with my brothers and neighborhood friends whenever we found the perfect spot to go for a roll. We laughed, squealed with joy, connected with nature, and helped our bodies develop properly. What could be better than that? You might also enjoy this list of outdoor learning ideas and nature activities for kids.
Encourage Children to Roll down a Hill
Tell the kids to get outside and go for a roll down a hill. Find a grassy hill that does not have hidden dangers such as rocks, sticks, holes, etc. Instead, look for a nice gentle sloping grassy hill to roll down. You can usually find great hills for rolling in parks or open fields. And some families are lucky enough to have one in their front or backyard.
Alternatively, you can look for a nice sandy slope to roll down. But, make sure you close your eyes or wear goggles if you choose this as your hill. And please beware, rolling down a sandy hill can be a messy adventure because, like playing in the sand on a rainy day, it gets everywhere!
Benefits of Going for a Roll down a hill
There has been a large increase in children with sensory processing disorders recently. These children often have underdeveloped vestibular (balance) systems. And these children often have decreased body awareness and an impaired sense of space.
Rolling down hills is one way to counter this. Our vestibular or balance system is challenged by moving in all directions while rolling down grassy hills. Rolling also helps provide the necessary stimulation to the muscles and ligaments in the body. This helps improve the proprioceptive sense. This is exactly what the human body needs to develop properly and heal. Call it nature’s medicine.
Children need to move and play outside regularly to develop healthy sensory systems. They also need to be surrounded by adults encouraging their children to play outside and take “healthy” risks. Their developing sensory systems depend on it. This is one of the most important reasons why we all need to get outside, connect with nature, roll down hills, climb trees, walk on fallen trees, and go bouldering.
Rolling downhill is not just for kids.
Rolling down hills is for everyone. A group of senior citizens in Singapore roll down hills daily for good health. (source) They consider it a therapeutic activity that has the power to cure their ills.
They believe rolling down hills helps the body absorb much-needed negative ions in the earth. I don’t know if negative ions can cure cancer, but they have been shown to relieve stress and improve mood. And research continues to prove that these negative ions have many other benefits. (source)
Those are great reasons to go for a roll, don’t you think?
Rolling down hills is a great way to get outside, connect, laugh, and have fun. It is also the perfect activity for the developing sensory system. So, encourage children to get outside and go for a roll down a hill today!