The benefits of sunshine are many. If you‘ve had a “sunshine high, ” the sunshine euphoria is actually the brain releasing serotonin and quickly boosting a person’s mood. If you’re feeling that amazing, fabulous summer sunshine happiness, it’s the real deal.

Of course, always use full spectrum sunscreen. Here is why you should soak up some sunshine every day: It elevates mood, improves sleep, promotes bone growth, helps strengthen the immune system, lowers blood pressure and promotes weight loss.

Sunshine Fun: Why the sun is good for you!

And, according to Harvard Medical, It’s especially great for kids to get some sunshine fun.

1.   Sunshine. Yes, it turns out that our bodies need sun. We need sun exposure to make vitamin D, a vitamin that plays a crucial role in many body processes, from bone development to our immune system. Sun exposure also plays a role our immune system in other ways, as well as in healthy sleep — and in our mood. Our bodies work best when they get some sunshine every day.

2.  Exercise. Children should be active for an hour every day, and getting outside to play is one way to be sure that happens. 

3.  Executive function. These are the skills that help us plan, prioritize, troubleshoot, negotiate, and multitask; they are crucial for our success. Creativity falls in here, too, and using our imagination to problem-solve and entertain ourselves. These are skills that must be learned and practiced — and to do this, children need unstructured time. They need time alone and with other children, and to be allowed (perhaps forced) to make up their own games, figure things out, and amuse themselves. Being outside gives them opportunities to practice these important life skills.

4.  Taking risks. Children need to take some risks. As parents, this makes us anxious; we want our children to be safe. But if we keep them in bubbles and never let them take any risks, they won’t know what they can do — and they may not have the confidence and bravery to face life’s inevitable risks. Yes, you can break an arm from climbing a tree — and yes, you can be humiliated when you try to make a friend and get rejected. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try; the lessons we learn from failure are just as important as those we learn from success.

5.  Socialization. Children need to learn how to work together. They need to learn to make friends, how to share and cooperate, how to treat other people. If they only interact in very structured settings, such as school or sports teams, they won’t — they can’t — learn everything they need to know.

So, go for it. Soak up some fabulous Montana sunshine today and enjoy the beneficial sunshine affects.