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The Benefits of outdoor play!

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The Benefits of outdoor play!

As a child my time was spent exploring the countryside and coast of Devon & Cornwall. I wanted my children to grow up learning about the beauty of nature and soak up all the benefits that the great outdoors has to offer. I wanted them to have the best “WILDHOOD” I could give them.

During our adventures I have been exploring the advantages that exposing your children to the outdoors has on their health, learning & happiness. I have learnt so many things about playing outside and put some of them together for you to read, I hope you enjoy reading them!


Learning

Children learn through play! Lining shells, sticks or leaves up and helping your children count them will encourage your children to want to learn! As well as this they are also discovering nature and the outdoor world.

 

 


Creativity

Outdoor play is great for encouraging children’s creativity. Away from the confined environment of indoor play, children’s imaginations are stimulated by the objects around them and you will quickly find that they will use their natural surroundings to create their own games and role play.


Health

There are numerous health benefits to playing outside. Children are often more active when outside, which helps them to develop good physical health and enables them to burn off any extra energy. As well as this, being in the sunshine, even on an overcast Winter’s day, means they are getting exposure to sunlight. This helps to ensure that kids get enough vitamin D, affecting numerous health issues, including bone growth, muscle function, and even the timing of puberty! In addition to this natural light improves mental health in both children and adults drastically, so whilst your children reap the benefits of the outdoors, so will you. I find being outside makes a huge difference to the way I feel as a parent. 

 


Social skills

Outdoor spaces are often less crowded than indoors, making it less intimidating and helps children to naturally come out of their shells and be more social. This means that children will be more willing to join in games and activities, while they will also be more likely to talk to different children and make new friends. This all encourages children to learn social skills and how to interact with other children.


Well-being

Giving children the freedom to play outdoors helps them to feel happier. As explained above being outside means that children naturally get vitamin D, which is proven to help improve moods and create a positive mental attitude. In addition, burning off all that extra energy helps children with the ability to be calmer and more focused when in a classroom or at home.


Confidence

Outdoor play has a little more risk involved than indoor play. Whether it is encouraging a child to climb a tree or jump off a tree stump that they’re fearful of – all of which help children learn to push their boundaries and become good at assessing risk. It also teaches them to explore new things and become confident in learning to try new adventures.


Appreciate and care for Nature

Playing outdoors is a brilliant way to get out in nature and become aware of the environment. Children who gain knowledge and appreciation of nature are more likely to become environmentally aware adults. Let’s face it the children are our future and we need them to learn how to protect the earth we love.

 


Sleep

Lastly, if you’re a parent you know how important this one is for both your children and you! Research shows that children sleep better at night if they’ve had some fresh air and sunshine during the day. Well worth a walk or a play outdoors to help your little ones sleep better.

 

INTERESTING FACT!


It’s no secret that most parents blame Winter air as the cause for colds and the flu. Although the viruses that cause flu and colds are more common in the Winter months, the circulated air in closed environments is the main cause of your child catching the bug. All the bacteria, dirt and other germs are circulated through the air over and over. The more time you spend inside, the more you are exposed. In fresh, outdoor air, children do not have to rebreathe the germs of the group, and the chance for spreading infection is reduced! So, there’s no excuse this Winter, grab your coats and boots and GO EXPLORE!

 

Guest blog from Tamara D’silva.

@kids_life_coastal