Children in today’s generation are more prone to indoor games as opposed to outdoor games. Children today spend significant amounts in playing video games and watching TV. At this point, it is important to highlight that indoor games have adversely affected children’s lives as exemplified by the increasing cases of obesity among them and the prevalence of heart conditions.
If the situation is not countered, it is predicted that the lifespan of children will reduce amicably. Encouraging children to indulge more in outdoor play is one of the ways of alleviating the problems brought by indoor play.
Parents and teachers need to encourage children to go outside and connect with the natural environment. Children who engage in outdoor play are happier, stronger, and most importantly, healthier.
1. Health benefits
Undoubtedly, the health benefits of outdoor play for kids cannot be denied. Children who play outside are less prone to diseases and illnesses as their immune system is strong.
During outdoor play, children roll, run, jump, and hide and that way they exercise and get Vitamin D. When children spend time in the playgrounds, they reverse the chances of being obese and even having heart conditions.
The moderate and vigorous activities they involve in go a long way to strengthen their immune systems, thus they are healthier as compared to those who spend hours playing for instance video games.
2. Connecting with nature
Importance of outdoor play for kids is realized as they interact with the outside environment. Playing outdoor games such as riding the bicycle or driving their favorite ride on the car helps children connect directly with nature and thus appreciate the beauty of our natural environment.
More so, children learn the importance of protecting our environment and thus safeguarding their future and that of generations of them.Some children like playing in muddy outdoor environments and it makes them explorative and thus is a good thing.
Additionally, during their play, they tend to enjoy fresh air, an experience that is thrilling. This way, children appreciate the processes of nature as they connect with the natural sceneries and different conditions.
3. Emotional and mental growth
Kids also explore the outside environment during play and discover things on their own. For instance, they may discover weathered leaves and may want to know the reasons why. Furthermore, children are relieved of stress as they engage in unstructured outdoor games.
We may think that children do not have stress, but pediatrics have clarified that children are sometimes stressed and cannot express themselves. Unconsciously, vigorous play heals their emotional wellbeing and burns off negative energies such as anxiety and depression.
4. Enhances better sleep
As children play outside, they engage in moderate to vigorous exercise that makes them sleep better. It is crucial to note that when children are playing, every muscle in their bodies is involved. At the end of the day, they become tired and when they sleep, they are likely to sleep for longer hours.
The relationship between sleep and health in children is well documented by health experts. More so, children’s brains develop correctly during sleep. Children playing outside are therefore more likely to grow and develop their full potential and thus live happier lives.
5. Improved social skills
As children play outside, they interact with their playmates and thus develop social skills. In addition, as they communicate with each other, they develop communication skills as they learn and exchange ideas from one another. This means that their language will be enhanced if they play outside.
Furthermore, children become more confident and their attitude is life is greatly influenced. They become more proactive even in real life situations. Besides, as they engage in outdoor games without supervision, they learn the importance of independence and thus become better individuals in the future.
As kids play outside, they develop and realize their learning capabilities. That’s why parents and children are encouraged to invest more in outside play equipment as opposed to indoor play equipment.
The outdoor environment helps children to connect what they learn in class to what they see in the environment. In other words, the ability to learn is one of the most important lesson of outdoor play.
The outer environment encourages kids to see learning as a continuous process that not only takes place in the classroom but also outside the classroom.
7. Developing resilience
Playing outside is indeed more challenging, yet exciting than engaging in indoor games. It is true to say that kids who play outside are more resilient than those who play indoors.
An advantage of outdoor play for kids is realized as children play with their age mates. Sometimes, they conflict with each other and they are expected to defend themselves since adults are often away from the playgrounds.
Developing resilience is one of the crucial benefits of outdoor play for kids.At their tender ages is a good life skill that will play a critical role in their future. In the future, it will evident that kids that involved in outside play will appreciate the struggles of life and approach life in a much positive way.
8. Character and personality development
Outside play encourages children to express themselves fully, which could hardly be achieved during indoor play. The development of their real personalities takes place outside as they play with their mates.
Some discover that they can communicate very well while others can assemble people and organize games very well. For instance, when two kids involved in a conflict, one of them acts as the peacemaker thus discovering their character and abilities.
When kids are away from the confinement of indoor environment, their brains are stimulated to be more creative. Their imagination of the world is increased and they become more open to ideas.
For instance, kids during their play hide creatively more than their counterparts who lock themselves at home. They see objects in the outside environment that quickly enhances their creativity. Their creativity is amazingly stimulated during outdoor play.
The wellbeing of kids is directly related to the kind of play they involve in. Children who play outside are more likely to tap into the benefits of outdoor activities. From the freedom to the exercise, to the socializing, the wellbeing of children is enhanced. Kids feel happier and are calmer.
The benefits of outdoor play for kids are far-reaching and therefore parents, guardians, and teachers should encourage children to play outside. The freedom experienced by kids while playing outside makes them independent and creative thinkers and in future, they are more likely to exhibit these qualities.
Besides, their emotional and mental growth is well developed during outside play. Furthermore, the health benefits gained while playing makes outdoor games even more appealing.