With iPads and TV screens taking up a huge chunk of time everyday, children today are hardly getting outdoor exposure, and that’s bad, in more ways than one. Time and time again, studies have found how playing outside is extremely important for children, and if you’re wondering how, here’s a bit of insight into just that.

 

Lucas is side on to the camera. You can see a lake behind him. He is looking down at his magnet board

 

Read on to discover how and why playing outside is so crucial for children.

It Boosts Physical Strength

All the running, jumping and getting out is one of the best ways to increase your child’s physical strength, and fine tune his motor skills. Experts believe that children get the much needed aerobic exercise when they get active through play outside, which strengthens bones, makes them more active and energetic and also prevents obesity.

Activities like throwing a ball back and forth, kicking a ball, playing on a play equipment, Fatmoose have an incredible amount of swing and slide set, sandpit, climbing frames. Even just running around can be an excellent way for your little one to get some exercise.

It Improves Sensory Skills

Several studies have found that children who spend more time outdoors have better vision and other sensory abilities than those who spend more time indoors. Younger children- toddlers and preschoolers tend to learn a lot through senses of touch, smell and sight, all of which are best learnt by getting out.

It Enhances Cognitive Development

Unstructured outdoor play has been found to enhance your child’s cognitive abilities and behavioural skills too. Getting out can help your child discover more about the world, develop creative thinking abilities and also sharpen his memory.

 

A close up of Lucas playing outside, hands in the sand

It Strengthens Immunity

Exposure to outdoor light has been found to activate the pineal gland, which improves mood, increases happiness and improves overall immunity, which is again, essential for growing children. In fact, children who spend more time playing outside have been found to be more positive and develop a stronger understanding of the world around them.

In addition, children who spend more time close to nature tend to appreciate the environment and its elements more.

It Increases Attention Span

Children suffering from ADHD have been found to have fewer symptoms and tend to be more self directed when they spend more time outdoors, experts believe. They also believe this could contribute to reduced stress and anxiety and improved self discipline.

It Boosts Socialisation

One of the best benefits of playing outside is that it also helps your child learn how to socialise, communicate effectively with those around him, how to share and cooperate with others and also develop impressive interaction skills. This can, in fact turn out to be exceptionally great for children who are shy and have trouble mixing with other children.

 

Why playing outside is so important to children

14 Comments

14 Comments on Why playing outside is so important for children

  1. I think it is so important for kids to play outside. I am so glad that we have a big garden as we are self isolating. they have been spending a lot more time outside than they normally do which I am happy about.

  2. I don’t have kids, but I can relate to this in ways as an adult. Once I’ve been outside, it’s like I gain a whole new perspective on my day. I could leave the house feeling down and return feeling like a whole new person!

  3. Don’t have kids myself but I’m sure these tips are super handy for anyone with kids now during lockdown. As long as they are social distancing no reason why kids and parents shouldn’t make an effort to go and spend their time doing this! Great advice!

  4. Nice article, I am a mother of two and for me it is so important for my kids to play outside not only to meet new friends but because playing outside will help them to grow and develop their skills.

  5. I am so happy that the weather has been nice this week, it has meant my daughter could spend lots of time outside. It so important and I love that it’s such a focus at school too.

  6. I’m so glad, particularly in the current lockdown, that we have a garden. My children have been spending a lot of time out there this week

  7. I agree, outdoor play is so important for children. We are self isolating at the moment but trying to get some time outside in our little garden as my children are missing their outdoor play time.

  8. It’s definitely so important for kids to play outside and be more resilient to the outside and not just sit indoors with tech x

  9. When we were younger, outside play was the norm. But it is a little different nowadays, because we always worry about the safety of the children. My grandson loves riding his bike and I keep a watchful eye on him when he goes outside. Hopefully once this pandemic ends, I can take him outside to ride his bike again. It builds his immunity and his muscles get a good work out too.

  10. This article is spot on, i agree with a lot of this, we have been trying to get the kids out whenever we can and over the years we’ve done an ok job, even now w re trying to at least go outside for an hour or two in the garden etc..

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