5 Reasons Why Outdoor Play Is Important For Children

importance of outdoor play child health

“Play is so integral to childhood that a child who does not have the opportunities to play is cut off from a major portion of childhood.” -Musselwhite

Children are the happiest when they play outdoors. But it’s not just about having fun. Like the right amount of nutrition and sleep, playing outdoors is integral to the proper mental and physical development of a child. Studies claim that children these days don’t play as much as their grandparents did. In fact, kids spend more time watching TV and mobile screens instead of engaging in active outdoor play time.1This has led to the pandemic of childhood obesity worldwide.


Reasons Why Children Should Play Outdoors

1. Boosts Brain Development

importance of outdoor play brain development

During the first 3 years of life, there is a lot of brain development. The brain cells for vision develop rapidly in the first 2-4 months. This is the best time to introduce infants to nature, colors, smells as the brain absorbs everything it sees. Playing outdoors with other infants will also stimulate their brains to develop memory and social skills faster.2


2. Inspires Creativity

importance of outdoor play creativity

Playing outdoors encourages kids to be creative. A child who is exposed to anything from playing with mud cakes to legos is more likely to develop a vivid imagination. Their brains will easily be more creative and they will be able to pick up skills like drawing, acting and building things from a tender age.3


3. Improves Overall Health 

importance of outdoor play overall health

One of the several health benefits of playing outside is exposure to the sun, which provides the essential vitamin D for growing children. Active children have stronger bones and don’t tend to put on weight, unlike kids who are sedentary. Playing outdoors prevents kids from being fidgety and even helps them to sleep well. Early exposure to nature will also boost their immunity levels and prevent chronic diseases. 4

4. Encourages Development Of Social Skills

importance of outdoor play social skills


Kids who grow up interacting with other kids during playtime are more socially aware, enthusiastic and less intimidated by challenges. These children are more likely to develop a welcoming attitude towards new people and places. A child with broad-mindedness will be able to make friends with children from different backgrounds without any judgment.5

5. Promotes Personality Development

importance of outdoor play personality development


A child who is given the freedom to play outdoors is calmer and happier. Children raised in a positive state of mind grow up to become emotionally intelligent adults. Kids who engage in active outdoor games develop the qualities of a team player. While they are outside, they tend to take more risks and explore everything that captures their attention. They even learn to make decisions independently and fearlessly quite early in life.6

Many parents find it hard to follow an outdoor play schedule for their children. Considering the above benefits, try to build a schedule that works for you and your children. Don’t let your children miss out all the fun!