Benefits of Outdoor Play
Outdoor play has many proven benefits. Many child experts recommend that children spend time outdoors because of the benefits of outdoor play. It helps with their early development and is good for overall health and well-being. Even as simple as taking a walk outside every morning or inviting your child to join you in your garden, can go a long way in the way of development. You can even make outdoor play more fun and exciting by giving your child a few outdoor toys to play with.
Here are 5 benefits of outdoor play and activities
Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are sets of skills that involve using a large group of muscles. Improvement of these skills is absolutely important especially during early stages of development.
These skills allow children to perform activities like walking, running and jumping. And playing outside is a good place to practice these skills. Additionally, engaging in outdoor activities is great for general physical development.
Imagination and Creativity
Imaginative play is a huge part of a child’s development. Through imaginative play, a child can step into different kinds of roles as well as situations. This allows them to get an idea on how to deal with some things that they may encounter in the future.
Imagination and creativity are forms of self-expression which is good in boosting a child’s self-esteem and confidence. Moreover, solid problem solving skills often require both. A child imagines a problem and comes up with a solution using creativity.
Social & Emotional Skills
Playing independently outside is still fun. But it is more fun if your child plays with other children her age. Outdoor play is the perfect opportunity for children to bond with family or with their friends.
Encouraging your child to interact and play with others is a good way to develop their social skills. It helps build their confidence to speak up while in a group and work with others to achieve a common goal. When they start going to school, they will be learning lessons in a group setting. And most schools often have projects and activities that require teamwork.
Outdoor play is also a good way for a child's emotional growth. Playing outside especially with others, provides children the opportunity to experience different emotions and they’ll learn how to deal with these emotions.
Sensory stimulation is defined as stimulation that involves one or more senses. For instance, most wooden toys for children are finished with bright colours. And when a child plays one of these toys, she’ll be attracted to its colours which is good for visual stimulation. The wooden texture of the toy stimulates the child’s sense of touch.
Nature is filled with different kinds of colours, shapes, smells and textures. When a child engages in outdoor play and explores her surroundings, she’ll discover many new things that will stimulate her senses.
Hand Eye Coordination and Fine Motor Skills
Playing outside usually involves outdoor toys. Most toys nowadays are designed to facilitate and promote early learning and development. For example, gardening tools for kids are toys that children can use when they help you tend your garden. When they use these tools, they use their hands, fingers and wrist. And this is good practice of their grasp strength, dexterity, fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.
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