Do you know why outdoor play is important? Outdoor play has a huge impact on the development and well-being of kids.
It can make their childhood more enjoyable, and provide them with opportunities to develop new skills. We will discuss why outdoor play is so important for children’s growth and why it should be incorporated into your family’s routine.
A room for children to be children
If a child does not have access, or at least the ability to play outside regularly, he will become bored and frustrated which can cause stress for both parents and kids.
Kids tend to be more interested in pixels than real life if you leave them inside all day playing video games on the computer. Increased screen time at a young age can be a problem for many children.
When children play in the park, they get to be ‘children’ learn how to cooperate with other kids. They make new friends, talk about their interests and even fight sometimes, which is okay.
As a parent, you should encourage your child to engage in outdoor activities by taking him on family outings whenever possible or simply letting him go outside when it is not too hot or cold.
Develop fine motor skills
Playing outdoors provides a great opportunity for children to develop their fine motor skills. This is because they have to use small muscles in their hands and fingers to:
- Grip objects
- Move around
All of these activities help improve or develop coordination, dexterity, as well as aid in the development of muscles and joints.
Constant physical activity is as important for the development of your child’s brain and body as good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.
Improved child’s health
When the kids play outside, they get to exercise their whole bodies. Just running around, climbing trees and other activities help improve kids’ overall health.
Physical activity has been shown to boost immune system response in kids which will help them fight off common illnesses such as colds and cases of flu more effectively.
It also helps with weight management by burning off excess energy and lowering the risk of obesity.
In addition, outdoor play can help improve kids’ mental health by giving them a chance to de-stress after spending long hours inside at school. It also helps boost their self-esteem, confidence and social skills as they interact with other children while playing outside.
Emotional development playing outdoors
When children play outdoors, it can help them deal with their feelings and emotions in a healthy way. Outdoor playtime also allows for kids to have some alone time, which is necessary for reflection and self-discovery. A child’s development can remain active in the following ways:
- Boredom and anger. Playing outdoors can also help children relieve boredom and anger, as well as cope with difficult situations they may be experiencing in their lives.
- Problem-solving, and creative thinking. Nature provides a great backdrop for storytelling, problem-solving, and creative thinking. All of these activities promote emotional development in children.
- Expressiveness. Younger children get upset or angry, they have the opportunity to express themselves freely without fear of judgment from adults. They might throw a tantrum or cry, but that is okay. It is all part of the emotional development process.
- A sense of independence. Outdoor play also allows children to develop a sense of independence. They can explore their surroundings without having to be constantly supervised by adults. This helps them learn how to take care of themselves and makes them feel more confident in their abilities.
When children get plenty of time playing in the outdoor space, it helps their intellectual development in a number of ways. For example:
- Improved problem-solving skills
- Enhanced focus and concentration
- Improved creativity
- It builds the child’s imagination
- Children learn about their surroundings and the world around them.
- It helps children to gain self-confidence.
A child’s intellectual development is also dependent on:
Firstly, the activities they engage in during outdoor playtime. The kind of games and outdoor toys you provide your child with when they play outdoors.
Secondly, the type of conversations you have with the kids. Parents can talk about why a particular plant looks different, why the sky is blue, or how a steam locomotive works.
Give children the opportunities outside to develop basic social skills and social competencies, including pushing each other on the swing, playing in the sand, pulling a wagon, and lots more.
Physical play, constructive play, and sociodramatic play also involve social play, particularly if the equipment involves more than one child.
A child spending time to associate with others has the chance to interact with other children, develop their own games, get along and play cooperatively during outdoor playtime to improve their social skills.
This includes problem-solving abilities, cooperation, communication and listening skills, confidence building through leadership roles or group participation.
Appreciation for the natural environment
It excites the children to be in a natural environment where they explore their surroundings, question their curiosity, and find joy in seeing new things.
Exposure to natural elements in the natural world such as sunlight exposure is important, it helps the body to produce vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones.
Every time spent outdoors is not only to play games, access to the natural world lets the children play with nature, they are constantly observing their surroundings and taking everything in.
They learn about different types of plants, trees, rocks, and how water flows. This helps them develop an appreciation for the natural environment at an early age, which will hopefully lead to a life-long appreciation for the natural world.
Encourage older kids to get creative with activities like making crafts out of natural materials, be creative with sticks, rocks, leaves and trees through art projects with what they find outside. You can also involve them in simple to-do activities like setting up and measuring a trampoline,
Outdoor play is an important part of early childhood and child development, it promotes physical activity and brain development too.
Playtime sunlight exposure is important for healthy child brains, increase children’s well-being, improve sleeping pattern, boost their moods and make them more attentive in class as play encourages children to feel relaxed throughout the day.
As kids get older this changes into social games that help with the development of teamwork and leadership skills. Physical activities are essential for overall brain health, as it encourages the growth of new neurons and supports cognitive functions like memory, attention, and learning.
Put dullness aside
Children love running around the local park or local playground digging and dumping sand in the sandbox as well as climbing up and going down the slide. No child should be spending less time outside.
Parents should have outdoor play ideas that are both fun and educational, so children can learn while they play. There are plenty of things kids can do outdoors without electronic gadgets or expensive toys. These include:
- Having a scavenger hunt
- Planting a garden
- Making a nature collage
- Swinging on a swing
- Making mud pies and eating them
- Getting in touch with nature by planting the seeds themselves, etc.
Spending time outdoors can improve a child’s physical abilities. Encourage kids to exercise and get their blood flowing. Outdoor play gives them the opportunity to run, jump (such as these perfect jump workouts for kids), climb and move about freely outside in the fresh air which helps improve motor skills as well as physical fitness through physical exertion or activity.
Physical activity allows children’s bodies to grow stronger bones, muscles develop faster so they can better move the body.
Older children spending time playing helps them to be more physically fit and develop endurance while being physically active.
The child’s chances of supporting their overall growth in strength increase as they engage in physical activities through outdoor dramatic play. In addition to that, running around and playing games helps the children to regulate their energy, preventing them from having destructive outbursts.
Gain new knowledge
Children learn new things outdoors, they learn how to:
- Get along with their peers
- Take turns and be patient in waiting for a turn
- Cooperate as they build things out of sticks or sand on the beach, etc.
- Feel more confident about themselves
- Strengthen important skills that will help prepare them
- Explore, gain knowledge and ask questions as they unearth new information and wilder imaginations.
In general, playing outside allows children to develop a sense of awe. A fall or scrape, but risky play also allows kids to learn from their mistakes and bounce back.
Now, watch Brody Gray explain why outdoor play benefits kids, and even adults!
Basic equipment for kids to play outdoors
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Insect repellent
- Water and snacks
- Warm clothes
- gloves and hat for winter play
It is important to have these items on hand as you plan outdoor activities with your kids.
Embrace the benefits of outdoor play today to enjoy some outdoor playtime and reduce indoor play, the kids will thank you for it.
Moreover, observational studies show that exposure to green space may reduce a child’s risk of developing behavioural problems such as attention deficits and hyperactivity.