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What Do Children Learn from Playing Outside?
Aside from being more fun, outdoor play is also good for children’s physical and cognitive development. That’s because when outside, children are able to make big movements such as throwing, jumping and running. And because they’re outside, children can get into more adventures which are good for their overall brain development.
Children and outdoor play
Other potential benefits of outdoor play are:
- Lowers the risk of short-sightedness
- Boosts vitamin D levels because of small amounts of sunlight exposure
- Helps children relax and feel calm (playing outside and getting some fresh air is good for the mood)
It seems that children’s development depends much on being outside. This is in line with modern early education curriculums where outside play is being emphasised now. In early learning centres, it’s common to see lots of hours for outside play and unstructured playtime.
Whether at the early learning centre or at home, children should always be encouraged to play outside several times a day. This way, they won’t always be glued to their seats and their interests in outside exploration and adventures will be sustained.
Outdoor play ideas
Naturally, children come up with their own activities and games when they’re outside. They can actually use any object and play with it or throw it for fun and experimentation. They will also like testing out their growing physical skills and better get to know themselves.
For example, some of the activities toddlers often like are:
- Throwing balls and chasing them
- Pushing and pulling different toys and objects
- Walking or running towards their favourite objects or things that attract their attention
- Playing in sand or with small amounts of water
During playtime, there should always be supervision to watch out for any risks and dangers. Also, there should be enough safe objects and surfaces for the children to play on. This way, they will have enough freedom to experiment and explore. This will also stimulate their creativity as they come with their own ways on how to have more fun.