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Why Outdoor Play is Important for Children

Summer is here, and the weather is perfect for playing outside. So, if you want a little quiet time during the summer holidays, why not encourage your children to play outside? Not only is it a fantastic way to let out their energy, but it can also benefit their health, fitness and well-being in numerous ways.

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#1 Outdoor Activity Promotes Socialisation

Playing outside is important for teaching children how to behave in social scenarios. After all, not everyone will be able to play on the swings at the same time. Good behaviour can be tricky for children to learn and there is not better way to improve their social skills than by encouraging them to play outside.

When playing outside with other children, it is easier for socially acceptable behaviours to develop naturally. Children will learn more effective communication methods, develop their language skills, and develop patience. Playing outside is a practical activity where they are thrust into real-life scenarios and this helps children remember what they’ve learnt far more effectively than if you’d just instructed them to act in a certain way.

#2 Playing Outside Maintains Eye Health

As we all know, studies have found that spending too much time sat inside and on screens can be extremely damaging for children’s sight, causing the development of short-sightedness and other problems. However, regular outdoor activity can significantly reduce this problem and help children retain good eyesight and keep their eyes in good health for far longer.

Fun fact: a study found that a child’s chances of developing sight problems reduced by 2% for every hour they spent outside per week. Now that is pretty incredible!

#3 Outdoor Play Reduces Restlessness

Have you ever noticed how restless your children become when they’ve been cooped up inside for too long? Most parents know the struggle a restless child can be and how limited many children’s attention spans really are.

If your children lose interest easily and become restless quickly, it’s possible they are not spending enough time outdoors. Encouraging your children to play outside regularly is one of the best ways you can ensure your kids are healthy and getting the physical activity they need to grow properly. Don't let your kids be afraid of getting their hands dirty - sifting through paydirt for gold, for example, is a nice ice breaker for kids who may be hesitant outdoors.

#4 Playing Outside Reduces Stress

Just like adults, children can become easily stressed. However, spending time outdoors and in nature is one of the best ways you can reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety in your children. Outdoors there are no distractions and children have the chance to escape for a little while. Outdoor play can significantly reduce stress in children and will help them live healthier, happier lives as a result.

#5 Increased Intake of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to keep your child’s body healthy and offer numerous benefits, including increased bone strength, prevention of diabetes and heart disease, the prevention of vitamin D deficiency, and so much more! Although you can feed your children vitamin D supplements, they are no way near as good as the real thing. Your children need a daily intake of natural sunlight and outdoor play for one hour a day is one of the easiest ways they can get this.

#6 Playing Outside Keeps Kids Healthy

Outdoor play is essential for the health and wellbeing of your children. Have you ever noticed that your children seem to have unlimited energy? Well, that’s because they are meant to be active and running around outside. What’s more, outdoor activity is so beneficial for their health, helping build strength, use up energy, promote fitness, and maintain a healthy weight.

Encouraging your children to play outside regularly is one of the best ways you can ensure your kids are healthy and getting the physical activity they need to grow properly.

#7 Outdoor Play Grows Imagination

Children’s imaginations are so precious, and they should be nurtured and encouraged. One of the simplest ways you can grow your child’s imagination is by letting them play outside. Children use their imaginations in many ways, making up playground games, creating games, characters, and telling stories. Giving them the freedom to play outside helps their imaginations to flourish.

How Are Your Encouraging Outdoor Play? 

Some of the most special moment you have with your children will be spent outside when you’re not doing anything particularly planned. So, how are you encouraging your child to play outside? Give your children time to explore the world around them jump in puddles, play games in the schoolyard with their friends, and get muddy, because it will benefit and develop them in all the ways mentioned above, and more!

If You Need Inspiration…

If you’re stuck for outdoor game ideas, why not check out the 18 playground games that improve your child’s health so that they can have fun outside while staying healthy!

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