Physical play outside is good for your health, fitness and physical development. Playing outside gives your child the ability to play their favourite games, express themselves, explore the natural environment, build self-confidence, develop gross and fine motor skills, get messy and most of all have fun.
Playing outside is great for your health. It can lower a child’s chance of being short sighted, sun (in small and monitored amounts) can boost vitamin D, promotes social skills, increase attention span, reduces stress, develop muscle strength and coordination and your children will get sick less often.
When Children are playing outside they are very active and get a chance to use all their muscles when they run, swing, jump, slide, ride, dig and play they promoting wellbeing and wholesome physical development.
Children must play outside!
Children should be encouraged to play outside several times a day, but it doesn’t have to be a big deal all you need to do is encourage them play outside even doing simple tasks around the house like sweeping, gardening, watering or even hanging clothes on the line. Even just send them outside and they will come up with their own games and things to do. You can even set them up with some paper, pencils rocks, leaves, sticks, blocks, old watering cans and posts and they will play for hours. Also making time to visit the beach, local park or playground is an easy way for them to be social with other children and usually there will be a lot of room for them to play.
Of course different aged kids need different types of outdoor play. Your baby infant can play outside. Put them on a blanket or towel with some toys, boxes or paper and they will learn about their environment and feel more comfortable. This play time is also a great time for you to interact with your little person and get you outside. Toddlers can be introduced to balls, push pull toys, bubbles, chalk, sand mud, water (small amounts) and lots of nature’s own products such as branches and stones. Pre-schoolers and School age children need structured play like games, building things, swinging, sliding, walking, climbing and running.
Even when it is wet or cold doesn’t mean they have to stay inside, encourage them to still play outside these times are some of the best times your children will have all you need is to make sure they are warm and keep them dry. A good jumper or raincoat will do the job. Rain is very fascinating to a child especially when they can play in the puddles or see the leaves on the ground. Tell them it is okay to get wet and dirty.
While children do need time to play alone without adult intervention, parents must also play with their children and this is very important, so make sure any equipment you have will be made to fit adult size and weight. Parents are who a child looks up to and they copy what you do and say so it makes them feel special when you play with them. Role-play, kick a ball, make things together, swing, slide and have fun. Don’t be too concerned with rules and cleaning up – you will build a bond that will last forever.
Children will fall over, hurt themselves and make mistakes while playing outside but this is how they learn and grow. It is ok for your child to push the boundaries outside while playing weather they run faster, climb high or swing higher the learn from mistakes and bounce back.
So what are you waiting for take action now and tell the kids to Go And Play!