Playing outdoors, unlocks a whole new territory for children. The fresh air, green grass, dancing grasshoppers, and blue skies create the perfect environment for growth, self-confidence, adventures and physical exercise. Playing outdoor allows children to test their physical boundaries which leads to self-discovery and growth. Unlike indoors, where running, jumping and crazy movement isn’t particularly welcomed with vases and furniture in such close proximity – outdoors is the perfect environment for children to move their bodies and challenge themselves physically. Not to mention, being outdoors introduces children to animals, plants and nature.
How to Encourage Outdoor Play:
Now that you understand why outdoor play is so important the benefits it can have on your Childs mental and physical health, here’s how you can encourage outdoor play if your child isn’t particularly warming up to the idea.
- Walks: Taking your children for walks, perhaps on the beach or around the neighbourhood is a great start to introducing them to nature. If you have a dog, you could make it a regular daily event.
- Sport: Sport is a great way to encourage outdoor play. Choose an easy game you think your child might enjoy and be able to participate such as easy soccer or even just throwing and catching. Invite them out, teach them the rules and see how they respond to it.
- Visit Parks: Visiting your local park on a regular basis will introduce your child to a new and challenging outdoor environment. Meeting up for a play date is an even more effective use of outdoor play time – incorporating socialising and outdoor play is important as well.
- Building: Building cubby houses, tree houses and hidey holes is a great way to incorporate motor skills, creativity and outdoor play.
- Climbing Trees: Climbing trees, while scary for you as a parent, can be a great way to face fears, learn new tricks and experience something different and challenging.
As a Parent:
As a parent it is completely normal for outdoor play to overwhelm or scare you. However, it is important to remember that children need to explore and learn and a couple of bumps and scratches just so happens to be included. A great way to prepare yourself for these learning curves, is to supervise outdoor play time until you feel comfortable with them playing without your presence.