Playing outdoors undoubtedly has a number of great benefits for children. It’s one of the most natural things for them to want do and encouraging them to get outside for a run around, ride or play shouldn’t really take that much effort. With that in mind, let’s check out some of the biggest benefits of playing outdoors.
One of the major benefits of playing outdoors is that kids will be amongst nature. Whether they’re climbing a tree, scrabbling around in greenery or just watching the birds in a park, it’s an opportunity to explore the world. Don’t worry about the mess they get into; the lessons they learn far outweigh a muddy pair of trousers or shorts. After all, as long as you know how to get grass stains out, mucky exploration won’t leave any marks long-term!
We’re living in a technological age and it’s all too easy for kids to lose hours playing on a tablet or games console. Whilst this is not all bad, it does little for their physical health. Playing outside means activity and a chance to develop strength, flexibility and balance. It might come from hauling themselves up the climbing frame, sprinting around playing a game or simply getting some Vitamin D with a walk in the sun. The fact is that there are so many physical benefits on offer with outdoors play.
Learning New Skills
There are plenty of activities that can only really be done outside; activities that involve unique skill sets and that require a certain amount of space. For example, you’d struggle to teach a child to ride a bike in the house, or learn the importance of teamwork in organised sports and games with other children.
Following on from the physical benefits of playing outside comes the opportunity to develop friendships. When kids have their heads buried in devices it can often be a very singular thing. When they get out and play it more often than not involves interacting with other children. This gives them the opportunity to develop social skills, strengthen the relationships they have with their existing friends and meet new ones.
All of the above is about children’s development and how playing outdoors carries with it so many developmental benefits. It’s also about them gaining independence though too. The home is a very familiar environment and up to a certain point is not challenging to their independence because they know everything around them. Take them out of that environment and, at their own pace, they can start to explore new things. This can only be a good thing when it comes to them taking those first steps towards being more independent.
As parents our role is to facilitate their outdoor play and deal with any issues. Whether it’s supporting their development through taking them to new places or simply knowing how to get grass stains out so they can explore nature without worrying about getting dirty, we have a big part to play. As you can see, there are so many benefits, so get your kids out there and have some fun in the fresh air.
Disclaimer: This post is a pre-written guest post published on behalf of the team at Mavens.