According to Child Encyclopedia, children play differently outside than they do inside, which also means that children gain different benefits from playing outdoors and indoors. Some areas that can be benefited when children play outside are physical development, social and cognitive development, sensory development, and mental well-being.
Become More Physically Active
When children play outdoors, they tend to do more active play than they do indoors. It is not shocking that children who play more outside tend to be more physically active. Children can one minute decide to be jumping and then next minute to be running. Other common outdoor activities that children do are swinging, climbing, pulling, balancing, rolling, running, and skipping. Each of these movements that children often do outside helps children build up their motor skills. Having at least 30 minutes of outdoor active play each day can help children burn more calories, strengthen bones and muscles, and prevent obesity. When the sun is out, children can gain vitamin D which can build stronger bones and decrease the risk of chronic diseases. Overall, children can gain many physical benefits from outdoor play each day.
Use It To Teach Valuable Life Skills
Remember playing at recess or with kids in your neighborhood and always making up new games? One difference between indoor and outdoor play is that outdoor play is typically more unstructured. Unstructured outdoor play can help children learn organically how to share, take turns, and develop other positive social and cognitive skills. Having the time to make up their own original games allows children to improve communication, cooperation, and organization skills.
Turn It Into A Learning Experiment
How would you describe the word ‘melting’ to a child? What about the word ‘squish’? Research suggests that hands-on outdoor exploration teaches children new words especially from events that can happen physically . Seeing snow turn into liquid right before your eyes give a whole new meaning to the word ‘melting’. Playing in the grass after a rainy day provides children the feeling of when their shoes squish into the mud. Going outdoors is always an opportunity to widen sensory experiences and gain more understanding of how things work.
Work On Focusing
According to research, there is a natural restorative effect that happens after time spent in nature or a green area. Evidence shows that after playing outdoors, children can become more attentive and focused. Children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can show fewer symptoms of ADHD when they have outdoor playtime.
The limit is just about endless with how much children can benefit from playing outside!