“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
During the first 3 years of life, there is a lot of brain development. The brain cells for vision develop rapidly in
2. Inspires 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
4. Encourages Development Of 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
5. Promotes 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!
|↑1||Rideout, Victoria J., Elizabeth A. Vandewater, and Ellen A. Wartella. “Zero to six: electronic media in the lives of infants, toddlers and preschoolers.” (2003).|
|↑2||The Importance of Outdoor Play and Its Impact on Brain Development In Children. |
UMKC School of Education’s Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley
|↑3||Ouvry, Marjorie. Exercising Muscles and Minds: The Outdoor Play And Early Years Curriculum.Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003|
|↑4||Sothern, M. S., M. Loftin, R. M. Suskind, J. N. Udall, and U. Blecker. “The health benefits of physical activity in children and adolescents: implications for chronic disease prevention.” European journal of pediatrics 158, no. 4 (1999): 271-274.|
|↑5||Burdette, Hillary L., and Robert C. Whitaker. “Resurrecting free play in young children: looking beyond fitness and fatness to attention, affiliation, and affect.” Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine 159, no. 1 (2005): 46-50.|
|↑6||The Importance of Outdoor Play and Its Impact on Brain Development In Children. |
UMKC School of Education’s Edgar L.