04 Sep Top Reasons Outside Play is Essential for Children
Top Reasons Outside Play is Essential for Children
Improves Exploration Skills
Outdoor play equipment can seem scary – especially if you have a particularly tiny or fragile little one. However, the extra risks involved allow them to develop their assessments of danger. It is beneficial to be able to spot a hazard and think about how we may avoid or overcome this particular situation. As adults we do this in most situations without even thinking but it’s something we had to learn and expand on over time. By giving your children the free reign to slide, climb and navigate up around and over play equipment with minimal interference and supervision, they will learn to try new things and keep themselves, and others, safe when they are out of their depth or exposed to higher dangers.
It is vital that children interact with those of their own age as communication can be difficult for them with people and adults much older – even if you are their parent. Additionally, despite the home being safe and comfortable, it’s confining nature is not always the best place for them to flourish.
Encouraging outdoor play allows them to naturally open up in an open space, escape their comfort zone and intermingle with similar children who are thinking and feeling the same. They will instinctively look to communicate with and befriend others within the same environment which develops their social skills and builds their confidence in interacting with potential buddies.
Often being taught or learning new things is linked with the four walls of a classroom, however this needn’t be the case. With the great outdoors, we can all learn that education is a continuing process. There are infinite things to learn from nature and the environment, every part of the world is different – every part of even the confined spaces of a garden is different! Every new sight, touch and smell can release hundreds of questions all bursting with an answer. Not only that, but for visual and kinaesthetic learners particularly, the physicality and energy of the outdoors combined with the optic opportunities can be exactly what some children need to be able to absorb new information.
With all there is to be found in nature, outside play could not be a better way to inspire children’s creativity and delve in to the imagery of their minds. Given the opportunity to explore all there is to feel, smell and look at, being outside will inevitably allow their minds to expand and will give them the opportunity to be inventive with what they think and what they do.
The human brain needs stimulating just as much as the body, and this is often more important in children than adults as children don’t understand the differences between mental and physical stimulation whereas as adults, we do and can choose to pacify one or the other, whichever is necessary. In order to invigorate a young mind, outdoor play is necessary as they can spend hours ‘on the go’ thinking about their next conversation with their buddy or their next move, the next thing they want to play on or how to play safely. As previously mentioned in the exploration skills and sociability sections, their consciousness will be having to work overtime in order to navigate risks, conversations and emotions. This will help them grow as little people and keep their brains happy allowing a more harmonious child at home and at school, and all other areas of life.
Beneficial to Physical Health
When playing outside, children can exert more energy and this builds up their physical strength. It will allow them to become fitter as well as burning off any extra fats or calories in their bodies plus it will help their bones to become stronger. Fresh air makes for a healthier respiratory system and although there are the obvious germs and bacteria – this is actually a good thing. When a child’s surroundings are too clean their immune system will not grow stronger however when normal kinds of microorganisms are introduced to a child their immune system will build up a resistance to these antibodies helping them to fight off things such as a common cold or infection before they develop within the body.