6 Benefits of Outdoor Play for Children
May 5, 2019
Getting outside and enjoying nature’s playground is a fun and important part of childhood. Outdoor play aids development and can help improve both mental and physical health. All year round, children can benefit from the fresh air and, in the summer months especially, vitamin D. Moreover, outdoor play can support the development of coordination skills, muscle strength and motor skills. Additionally, outdoor toys also focus on balance and spatial awareness. From outdoor toys for toddlers, to water play toys and garden toys for kids, children can enjoy the various aspects that make outdoor play so enjoyable. Below, you will find 6 benefits of outdoor play.
1. Outdoor Play Nurtures Well-being
First and foremost, playing outside should be FUN! The great outdoors is an incredible stimulating sensory playground where children can learn all about their senses as they embark on outdoor adventures. Whether it’s free play or outdoor learning, it is so enjoyable to be outside. Playing out in the fresh air can have positive impact on children’s mental health, helping them to feel happier and calmer. For outdoor sensory play, why not check out this domed mirror. Sand and water play toys are also excellent for outdoor play. From slide and splash spouts to submarines and bucket watermills, kids have plenty of choice when it comes to water play toys. If your children prefer the sandpit, why not take a look at this recycled plastic dump truck or these colourful sieves.
2. Outdoor Activities Help Kids Learn Through Play
Playing outside makes for a great lesson plan! Incorporate educational activities into outdoor play to help your child learn new skills and develop their abilities. Whether it’s outdoor maths, literacy or science, there are plenty of ways to bring the classroom outside. Explore the outdoor world with cool kidnoculars, practice counting with number bean bags or make letters in the sand with alphabet moulds. Whilst exploring their environment, children can also learn about the positive choices they can make to look after the planet.
3. Outdoor Play Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle
When outside, there is more space to roam and children are more likely to be active, which can help build strong bones and muscle strength. Active play can burn off extra energy, which in turn may help children to sleep better and concentrate better when learning. Running, climbing, digging and swinging are excellent examples of outdoor exercise. Children can follow their interests and challenge themselves to learn new skills with many wonderful outdoor toys for toddlers. Didicar Walk ‘n’ Ride are brilliant outdoor toys for toddlers aged 1 and above that promote exercise and develop gross motor skills. Encourage running feet with gentle movement outdoor toys for toddlers such as Rainbow Push & Pull, which improves balance and physical strength.
4. Outdoor Play Inspires Creativity
Children’s imaginations can flourish with outdoor play. Their surroundings have a great influence on imagination. Outside, away from indoor constraints, children can nurture their creative sides as they invent games, create activities and most importantly, enjoy themselves. Choose from your back garden, a local park, forest or beach… The possibilities are endless! In the garden and forest, children can learn all about trees, plants, animals and insects with garden toys for kids. Little ones can help out in the gardening with mini tool sets like these lovely garden toys for kids. Alternatively, head to the beach with buckets and spades or frisbees and seaplanes!
5. Outdoor Play Improves Social Skills
As children join in with different outdoor games and activities, they make new friends and improve their social skills through talking to other children. In addition to this, they learn valuable communicative skills when figuring out how to navigate joint games, such as turn-taking and expressing their opinions in a respectful way. After all, it can be tricky deciding who gets to go first and handling disagreements. Equally, children can also learn independence skills by figuring out which choices they should make. Practice communication skills with quirky games such as Who’s Speaking, Who’s Listening. To improve concentration and reasoning skills, why not take a look at classic games like Connect 4 and Giant Dominoes.
6. Outdoor Play Supports the Development of Motor Skills
From fine motor skills to gross motor skills, outdoor play can encourage the development of both. Didicar Ride-On is a quirky, self-propelled toy that is fun for children – and adults too! It increases spatial awareness, balance and gross motor skills. Similarly, Teeter Popper Balance Wobble Board is a unique toy that supports sensory exploration; children can stand, sit, wobble and spin, providing endless fun. For children who are mad about cars, Go Wheelie Steering Wheel nourishes imagination, coordination and muscle control, as children steer their way through obstacles courses and can pretend they are driving.