Warm, sunny weather is here to stay. Our Home For Your Heart teachers took advantage of the warm weather during the last weeks of school by taking learning outside. Being stuck inside during the winter and rainy months makes the warm air even more inviting, but what are some benefits to playing outside?
Playing Outside Builds Confidence and Responsibility
Children who have the opportunity to create and interact with outdoor environments enables them the confidence to make their own choices and have control over their own actions. Building confidence at a young age can last throughout their childhood years. Along with confidence, being in a natural setting and learning about living things can also build a sense of responsibility to children. They learn the cause and effect of picking a living flower or watering or not watering a newly sprouted tree.
Playing Outside Provides Exercise
Running, jumping, and climbing uses muscles in children they do not use while they are inside. These activities get their blood pumping and increases oxygen to their brain. Physical activity is also beneficial to a child’s brain development, as well as, improving their gross motor skills and sensory development. Games such as Freeze Tag or Red Light, Green Light or playing sports games like soccer or basketball can provide your child the exercise their body needs.
Playing Outside Promotes Creativity and Imagination
Freely playing outside can activate a child’s imagination and creativity. Think of all the things a child can create with a handful of leaves and sticks or flowers and dirt. Soon you could be served a mud pie or a leaf sandwich. Children can use their outdoor resources to design their own playtime.
Playing Outside Improves Learning
Children who have the opportunity to have unstructured play enhances problem solving, cause and effect, logic, and reasoning. There are math concepts with counting the petals on a flower. Building a fort with sticks or a castle with rocks ignites engineering concepts. Nature provides endless avenues for learning for young children.
With all the benefits of playing outdoors, take your child outside to play. Let them play in the back yard or the playground down the street. Let them see, touch, and hear nature. The rewards are too great not to put going outside on your daily to-do list.
“Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature” www.childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/
“The Benefits of Outdoor Play!” www.littlesproutslearning.com/benefits-of-outdoor-play
“Outdoor Play Benefits Academic Learning” www.preschoolpowolpackets.blogspot.com/2015/06/outdoor-play.html
“Six Benefits of Outdoor Playtime for Kids” www.activebeat.com/your-health/children/6-health-benefits-of-outdoor-playtime-for-kids/?streamview=all