Six Health and Educational Benefits Children Get from Outdoor Play
If it seems your child is spending less time playing outdoors, research shows they are. Children are spending less time outside due to indoor activities such as playing video games, going online, and watching the telly. However, playing outside is not only important for their health, but it can help them do better in school as well.
Develops Physical Skills
It is difficult to develop physical skills inside the house playing video games or watching television. By playing outdoors, young children’s abilities to run and balance, in addition to their hand-eye coordination, will be better developed. Their coordination will improve as they learn to catch, throw, or kick balls, leap, and jump whenever they are outdoors playing with friends, siblings, or pets.
Stronger Muscles and Bones
As their physical skills improve, their bodies become stronger and they are less apt to hurt themselves when they’re outside playing. They will be exposed to vitamin D from the sun, which helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and leads to stronger and healthier bones and teeth. Playing outside will also burn more calories, so children will maintain a healthier weight when they play outside.
Helps with Learning
Studies show children who play outside not only develop better physically, but intellectually as well. Unstructured play promotes creativity, helps them develop communication skills with their peers, and teaches them how to resolve problems themselves. Playground Imagineering creates stimulating curriculum-based playground environments to enhance children’s learning abilities.
Outdoor play in groups also helps children build confidence as they learn to share and how to negotiate getting time on playground equipment, and it can help them learn problem-solving skills. They also learn how to get along well with others they may have never met and how to make friends more easily. Outdoor play can help shy students come out of their shell as they gain more confidence around their classmates.
Develops Respect for Nature
Children who explore the world around them develop a better appreciation for nature and learn about the cycle of life. By observing how the change of seasons affects plant life, they can learn about life and death, which is a natural part of all existence. Listening to birds singing, learning the names of flowers, and experiencing seasonal changes in the weather will allow children to observe, learn, and grow to love the outdoors.
Leads to Healthier Lifestyle
By playing or engaging in outdoor activities with your children, you are encouraging them to live a healthier lifestyle throughout their lives. They will be more curious about the world around them, they will be healthier due to regular exercise in the sun and fresh air, and they will grow to appreciate and value nature. Their curiosity will usually extend to the classroom, so they will become interested in learning more about the world.
Whether playtime outdoors is structured or unstructured, there are many benefits children will gain from it. Not only will it help with their physical development, but it will help with their intellectual development as well.