With your watchful eye over them, you want to give your child the freedom to play among nature and explore the outdoors. There are many benefits to playing outside. Not only is it a new and exciting realm for your child to explore, but it can improve their confidence. Here are some of the important reasons why kids should play outside with tips on how you can encourage them.
Functional abilities and exercise
Letting kids play outside is great exercise. Getting a child away from a screen to go and play in the park will help them get some vital exercise and fresh air. Not only this, the more they get up and about the easier it’ll become to manage in the future. Brands such as Muddy Puddles encourage outdoor play with clothing suitable for all weather conditions. Instilling outside play naturally in the early years can help them unconsciously be more active in later life, which can keep them healthy.
Top tip: Lead by example. If your kids see you spending hours in front of the TV, they’re going to match you. Go on family walks to explore nature.
Good for their immune system
A controversial and much-debated topic, it’s widely researched that being outdoors can help the natural build up of the immune system. It’s also said that over disinfecting can increase the rate of allergies. Playing outside is a healthy way for children to come into contact with bacteria that’ll help build up a stronger immune system.
Top tip: Why not grow your own fruit and vegetables together in your garden? This is a great, hands-on way for kids to learn where food comes from.
Risk management and self awareness
Interestingly, allowing your children to get a few scrapes now and then can be beneficial. When kids are roaming around outside, their self-awareness is improving along with their motor abilities. Not only this, when they make mistakes or fall over, they’ll teach themselves to not do that again. Improving their risk management skills will help them avoid future dangers or potential hazards.
Top tip: Take your kids to the park and watch them as they figure out how to navigate the climbing frame by themselves.
Imagination and intelligence
Playing outside in new surroundings, exploring nature and discovering new things can help support your child’s imagination. There are so many reasons why this is important but the main one is it improves your child’s creative traits which can help with problem-solving. When a child is in their own world, things that seemed scary in the real world, such as a tall climbing frame, may not be as daunting in their imaginary world. This can push them to learn how to solve their problems on their own without feeling scared.
Top tip: Go on scavenger hunts in your local area or play outdoor games to help encourage imaginative play.
Awareness of the environment
It’s important to teach younger generations about the environment to help instil a healthy appreciation for nature and wildlife as they get older. Teach them about recycling, take them on adventures spotting insects or visit a petting zoo. Also, making them aware of their surroundings can help build their confidence.
Top tip: Encourage your children to ask questions about their surroundings and take the time to find out the answers together. Make a bird feeder together and watch which birds