The Benefits of Outdoor Play
We keep hearing it is good to send your kids outdoors to play, but why exactly is outdoor play good for your kids and how much time each day should they be spending outdoors?
- Learning Learning through play is the best way of learning for our younger children. Make it fun and it will hardly seem like learning. Outside in your backyard provides many opportunities for play whether it be pretend play, kicking a ball around, or getting mucky in the sandpit. It all encourages brain development and our little ones will love it.
- Creativity Being outside encourages a child’s imagination to run wild. Their imaginations are often stimulated by what is around them and encourages that creativity. Get them cooking up a storm in the Cubby House or building a city in the Sand Pit.
- Health Run, jump, kick, swim. Being active builds good fitness levels, strong bones and burns off those little treats that Grandma has given them. Getting some Vitamin D into the body is also essential for growing kids. Trying to get them throwing a ball into a hoop or working their muscles on a slip-and-slide on the back lawn.
- Independence When playing outdoors, whether it is with other kids, or on their own, independence is encouraged. Kids learn to take turns, navigate rough terrain, and think things through themselves. All great life skills.
- Gross Motor Skills Outdoor play encourages whole-body movement and hand-eye coordination. These essential skills are crucial for everyday life such as walking, running, and balance. Getting outside and playing will enhance these skills. Maybe a Balance Bike would be a great idea to enhance these skills.
How Much Time?
Researchers have found that children 6 and under should get outside at least once or twice a day, and every day where possible. Even a ten-minute chunk is beneficial but if possible, get outside for 30 to 60 minutes a couple of times a day. The more the better! Encourage exercise, learning, and independence as much as possible.
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