|Posted on April 15, 2017 at 11:45 AM|
- Children who play outside regularly are happier, healthier, and stronger
- Immune system is stronger due to exposure to environment
- Sun exposure produces Vitamin D in the body
- Outdoor play can help prevent nearsightedness
- Children who play outdoors at school are more likely to play outdoors at home
- Children who enjoy the outdoors are more likely to enjoy hiking, jogging, biking, climbing, and other healthy outdoor activities as adults.
- Children who play more outdoors spend less time sedentary with screens (watching TV, playing video games, etc)
- Playgrounds are a fun and easy way for children to move/exercise and challenge their body
- Children naturally have more energy than adults, and need to move around, run, and play creatively. Playing outdoors is a great way for them to relieve the stress of sitting still for too long.
- Imagination and creativity are stimulated by being outside - this leads to better brain development
- Children learn basic physics - gravity, heat/cold, how water mixes with dirt and makes mud, which objects float in water, etc.
- Learn through senses - there are so many things to see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste outside
- Gain spatial awareness as they move through the environment
- Gain motor development - climb and jump off objects, ride a tricycle, walk on tiptoes, throw/kick balls, etc.
- Learn how to make friends and interact socially, and to work together and share with a friend
- Learn independently (without a parent’s direct guidance)
- Engage with and learn from older children, even if they are not directly playing with them
Overall happiness benefits
- Children learn to enjoy their environment
- Children become more self-sufficient as they learn to entertain themselves; less tendency toward boredom later in life
- Sun exposure reduces depression
- Children can yell, laugh, run, and really let go of pent-up emotions
Types of play outdoors
- Physical play - running, climbing, riding tricycle, scooters, throwing/kicking balls, digging, balancing, sliding, rolling, crawling, swinging, obstacle course
- Constructive play - water table, sand box, art, blocks, toys that stack / fit together, gardening, nature walk
- Social play - pushing another child on a swing, pulling a wagon with another child in it, constructive play together, having a picnic / tea party, parachute play
- Dramatic play - using imagination to create scenarios - play houses, forts, etc.
- Games with rules - red light green light, Simon says, follow the leader, ring around the rosy, duck duck goose, tag, etc.