5 Reasons why outdoor play is important for children
Playing outdoors offers unlimited possibilities for children to explore and develop. Sadly, children today don’t spend as much time outdoors as previous generations. The world is changing – with technology and with less outdoor space. We must change with the world, but don’t let your child miss out on outdoor play!
Here are 5 reasons why we think outdoor play is important for your child’s development.
Children should be active for at least an hour every day. Letting them play outside is a sure way to give them the chance to run around and exercise their muscles, coordination and balance. This sets them for a healthier lifestyle as they grow up to be adults that enjoy the outdoors.
2. Building confidence and taking risks
Children need to take risks. They need to make decisions, and be responsible for the decisions they make. Sometimes they fail, but they need to learn to pick themselves back up. By keeping children in bubble wrap and not letting them take risks, we are not giving children the opportunity to build the confidence that they need to face the many challenges in life. These include risks such as trying to make a friend in the playground. The lessons we learn from taking risks are just as important as those that we learn when we succeed.
3. Social skills
Children need to learn to work together – this includes how to make friends, how to cooperate, how to share, how to treat other people and how to ask for help. Outdoor play allows children real life situations where they need to negotiate their way through life.
4. Learning through play
Play is how children learn. And outdoor play is no exception. How do plants grow? Why do we slide down a slide instead of up a slide? How do I make the tricycle go faster? Why do my toes “disappear” when I squish them in the mud? Children learn in all different kinds of ways, but learning outdoor is particularly effective, and it is lots of fun! They are also more likely to remember what they learned as it is more meaningful.
5. Appreciation of nature
Children gain knowledge and appreciation for nature. This is especially important as the fate of our earth are in their hands when they grow up.
So do what our parents did! Ensure your child gets a good amount of outdoor play. The world is changing – with technology and with less outdoor space. We must change with the world, but don’t let your child miss out on outdoor play!
At Shaws Preschool, outdoor play is very important. Children have between two to four outdoor sessions a day, depending on which programme they are enrolled in. Outdoor play includes structured outdoor play such as our Shaws Little League sports sessions, as well as unstructured play where children have access to nature, the outdoors, and open ended material and equipment.
I will understand problem solving, self-exploration, imaginative thinking, and confidence when I grow up. Because I play outside when I am little.