Benefits of Outdoor Play.
Children seem to be spending more time indoors rather than outdoors these days. Research has highlighted the negative impact that television and tablets are having on children’s health and development. Outdoor play has many benefits and we will highlight some of these below:
Outdoor Play Improves Well-Being
When children play outdoors, they tend to be happier and calmer and get that all-important vitamin D boost which helps to improve mood and mental well-being. When playing outdoors, children can burn off excess energy, which is important if they are typically fidgety. The benefit of burning off this energy is that when they are back inside the daycare classroom they are more likely to the calmer and focused.
Outdoor Play Enhances Social Skills
As there is usually more space outdoors, children tend to feel less intimidated and are more likely to be confident and social with other children. For this reason, they are happier to participate in activities and games and talk to the other children around them. All of this helps to improve a child’s social skills and they also learn how to play and interact with other children without as much adult input.
Outdoor Play Improves Learning
When playing outdoors, children have the opportunity to further develop their learning skills. Children learn through play when educational equipment is available outdoors and as we are all very aware, play is a fantastic and fun way for children to improve their abilities, take on new information as well as learn new skills. Another advantage of outdoor play is that it enables children to see that learning is something that is on-going and not something that just takes place in daycare or preschool.
Outdoor play Stimulates Exploration
The equipment that is available outdoors can encourage children to take risks, more than indoor equipment. For example, children may have to use play equipment which is more challenging, a child may need to improve their confidence in attempting to go down a slide that they may be scared to use. Overall, outdoor equipment does enable children to push their boundaries and take small risks.
Outdoor Play Has Health Benefits
There is usually more space when playing outdoors and therefore children tend to be more active. This helps to improve a child’s fitness levels, build bone strength as well of burn off excess calories and energy.
Outdoor Play Enhances Creativity
When playing outdoors, a child’s imagination is stimulated by what they can see around them and this can help to enhance their creativity in their play.
Outdoor Play Encourages Independence
The space outside usually means that children are able to play without direct adult intervention. For this reason, children learn how to be independent when playing alone or when interacting with other children. Outdoor play in an open space allows children the opportunity to learn how to cope if they fall over, use equipment which they may not be family with or take turns when playing games with other children. In turn, children learn how to be more self-reliant and independent.