Nowadays most children are spending more time indoors, be it on iPads,
browsing the internet or watching television. This trend is on the rise for the
last couple of years and this has led to experts highlighting the negative
impact this is having on their physical and mental wellbeing.
On the other hand there are plenty of studies published which states the
importance of and numerous benefits of children playing outdoors. Read on
below to know about a few of the ways your kid can benefit from playing and
spending time outdoors.
Making Them More Creative
Playing outdoors does wonders to enhance a child’s creativity. They are out
in the open as opposed to being constrained and confined indoors. Being
outdoors exposes the kids to a lot of different experiences and objects in the
surrounding. This allows them to let their creative juices flowing.
Kids learn to think and tap into their creativity to cope and deal with the
varied objects and situations they are exposed to.
Building Social and Cognitive Bonds
Outdoor games that kids play are mostly unstructured, and these teaches
them to take turns or share their toys with other kids and devising game
plans. Not only it enhances their behavioral skills, and teaches them more
about how to communicate more effectively bit it also helps them to improve
cooperation between friends and the skill of organizing.
This also results in less bullying in the school playground. Playing together in
the outdoors develops their social bonds, where they learn to play together
by sharing and participating in group activities. Thus a sense of community
grows among them which reduce acts such as bullying.
Helps Get More Sleep
Kids suffering from sleep deprivation are a growing concern amongst parents
nowadays. Studies have shown that too much screen time and an inactive
lifestyle are primarily to blame for this. Poor sleep quality and lack of sound
sleep leads to lower IQ levels, depression, obesity and undersized physical
On the other hand, increased physical activity outdoors results in children
falling asleep quicker and having better quality sleep. The sunlight helps to
regulate sleep patterns, normalizing the children’s sleep timing.
Helps with their Learning
Learning abilities are helped by having children play outdoors. Parents need
to collect toys that help kids to learn and place them outdoors. This enables
kids to gather new information and skills while having fun.
This type of educational outdoor play encourages kids to think of learning as
a fun and ongoing process instead of something that can only be learned in
Making the Kids Healthier
One of the biggest benefits of playing outdoors is that there is a much larger
area to play in, enabling kids to be more active. As a result, kids are burning
off extra calories and are being able to build stronger bones.
Being outdoors allows kids to absorb plenty of sunshine, which is a rich
source of vitamin D, thus they are able to fight diseases better. They are
also able to perfect their motor skills, including gaining skills such as pulling
and pushing outdoor toys.
Making Kids Happier Together
Being outdoors can encourage kids to come out of their shells and be more
social with each other. They are more enthused to join in games and
activities as a group. Making new friends is easier and spending a happy
time playing together enhances their social skills.
Being outdoor gives kids the taste of being free. This sense of freedom helps
to improve their temperament and harbors a positive mental attitude.
Playing outdoors and being more active as a result, kids are also able to get
rid of excess built-up energy. This allows them to be happier, calmer and
more focused in the classroom.
Learning Independence and Self-Reliance
Being in the vast outdoors often means that kids are away from direct adult
supervision. This situation helps them to learn how to play on their own and
also how to effectively communicate with other children.
They learn how to negotiate with others when it comes to taking turns, how
to operate an unfamiliar toy, how to pick themselves up when they fall down
and face the circumstances. This is how they learn to be more self-reliant.
Improving Attention Spasms
Playing outdoors encourage kids to be more curious about their
surroundings. They seek out new activities and explore new methods of
solving any given situation. Thus they spend more time with an activity and
it increases their ability to pay attention.
Playing outdoors in green areas help children to pay more attention to detail,
resulting in having better focusing abilities and being able to concentrate
better in class. The greener the child’s play area, the better are their
chances of regulating themselves and controlling their impulses in general.
They are also better able to recover their appetite before dinner and get
better night’s sleep.
Having Improved Sensory Abilities
Children who play outdoors are exposed to the great abundance of nature.
They are regularly witnessing acts of nature such as water flowing in the
pond, flowers blooming and animals or pets in their natural habitat.
They can touch and feel these elements of nature, improving their senses of
hearing, touch and smell. Their sight is improved. And they can taste new
things by plucking fruits from a parent approved garden.
Encouraging to Explore
Outdoor play equipment requires kids to explore more hands-on. These
equipment can encourage kids to take risks in unknown situations and learn
how to operate them without the active guidance of grown-ups.
Going down slides they were previously afraid to try or exploring a new and
challenging play trail, outdoor games encourage kids to push their
boundaries and explore the unknown.
Their confidence is boosted and they learn to take new steps with new-found
We as parents must remember our own childhood and the exceptionally
enjoyable and adventurous experiences we had while playing outdoors.
So although it must be difficult for us to find time to let out kids play in the
park or front yard, we must make time for it if we want the proper and
healthy development of our children.
Stepheny is a content writer at FeedFond. She’s a loving mother to her two
children and is passionate about psychology and philosophy. To read more of
her articles, visit FeedFond.com.