In the summer, you might have tried to take your children outside as often as possible. But, now that winter is approaching, you might be preparing to spend a lot more time indoors. Worrying that very young children would be cold, or that they won’t enjoy being outside as much. This can be a mistake. Wrapped up warm, kids can still have a brilliant time outside, and playing outdoors has many benefits, whatever the weather.
Learning Through Play
Children learn best through play, especially when they are very young. It’s how they learn about their bodies and what they can do. Through play, they also learn about their senses and how things feel. Through outdoor play, they can learn more about nature, weather, and the world around them. Playing outside more can also help to teach them about teamwork, communication, language, and how to take care of and keep themselves safe.
Improved Social Skills
Young children have very few ways to develop social skills. If they spend most of their time at home with you, they have very little chance to develop their communication and social skills. For many young children, the first time they get to make friends independently is when they start school. This can make an already big event overwhelming. Take them to the local park, let them play outdoors, and they’ll develop strong social skills. They’ll find it easier to make friends and communicate with their peers.
Increased Strength and Flexibility
To you, kids swing sets might not seem like robust gym equipment, but to children, it offers a tremendous workout. Playing outside, with equipment or completely on their own, will help to develop their muscles, motor skills, coordination and their flexibility. Enjoying running around like this as children can also help them to develop healthy exercise habits as they get older.
Outdoor Play Offers Early Independence
We want our children to learn how to take care of themselves and be independent. It will help them when they are older. But, we’re not always great at helping them to achieve it. At home, you might be in the habit of doing everything for your children. In the park or even your garden, they’ll have a little more freedom and the chance to gain early independence, without ever being too far away.
Countless Health Benefits
Playing outdoors has so many health benefits. Exercise and movement increase strength, but it also improves their circulation, encourages good heart health, and boosts confidence. Spending more time outside also means that they get more fresh air and vitamin D, and they are more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
Outdoor Play Offers Children a Chance to Explore
Exploration is key to a child’s development. It helps them to see more. To learn about different areas of life. To develop their own ideas and opinions. Exploration boosts confidence and creativity, as well as being good fun. Playing outdoors is a beautiful way to explore new areas, sights, textures, and smells. They might find bugs in the soil, or see colors that they’d never find at home. These discoveries can inspire their imaginations and give them plenty of new material for pretend play.