The Benefits of Outdoor Play for Children
Outdoor play has so many great benefits for your children. While there will be times when your child needs to play inside because of bad weather, frequent outdoor play is important for your child’s development and well-being.
If you’re looking for more reasons to plan more outdoor play, you’ve come to the right place. Our experts at ExploraToy are passionate about using play to fuel your child’s growth. The following are five great benefits of outdoor play for children.
- Sunshine is good for your child’s body and brain.
The sunlight your child experiences when they’re outdoors provides vital health benefits. Even on overcast days, the sunlight they experience outdoors is far more than what they’ll get while inside. When children don’t get enough sunlight, it can cause a number of health problems.
One of the biggest is their inability to create healthy sleep rhythms. They need sunlight for their brain’s inner clock to tell them when it’s time to wake and when it’s time to sleep. While there’s some benefit from sunshine streaming into house windows, there’s no real replacement for going outside. Sunshine also provides your child with vitamin D, a vitamin they need for healthy growth.
- Spending time in nature can help them lower stress and improve concentration.
Even though we often romanticize the carefree days of being a child, children can still struggle with stress. If your child is struggling to concentrate on schoolwork because of their stress, time spent in nature might be the solution they need.
Whether your child is helping you in the garden with their ExploraToy Garden Tools Toys or kicking a ball around the yard, time spent outside provides benefits for their time spent indoors. When your child lowers their stress levels, they’re better able to handle all the things they need to get done.
- Outdoor activities encourage your child to get necessary exercise.
Children of all ages need exercise to help them burn of extra energy and stay healthy. When children play outside, they have the opportunity to run, jump, and climb. These high-intensity activities are great for their physical development.
Although they can get some exercise indoors, they don’t have to worry about going too fast or being too adventurous when they’re outdoors. There aren’t tables to run into or delicate objects to break, allowing them to run as much as they please. For younger children, outdoor play provides them with the opportunity to develop their athletic abilities, something that may serve them well in sports.
- Spending time in nature can help reduce behavioral problems.
A study of preschool children discovered that when children spend time in nature, they exhibit better behavior. Outdoor playtime allows children to connect with nature, reducing their emotional difficulties and increasing the likelihood that they’ll be kind to others.
The ill effects of too much screentime are well documented by researchers. The flip side of that includes the benefits of getting your child to play outdoors. Instead of showing negative behaviors common to children addicted to electronics, children who spend more time in nature are better prepared for positive behavior in the classroom and at home.
- Spending time outdoors teaches your children about new things, including respect for the environment.
Children who spend more time outdoors typically have more respect for nature and act in ways that protect the environment. In fact, one study found that when children spend more time in nature, they are more likely to support conservation efforts as adults.
When your child fosters a love for the outdoors at a young age, they’re more likely to love spending time in nature as adults. Instilling a love of nature is a powerful way parents can not only help their child engage in physically healthy activity but foster their overall well-being.
No matter how you try to encourage your children to spend time outside, there are some children who may not like outdoor activities. If your child doesn’t like running or playing sports, work with them to find outdoor activities they can enjoy.
Show your children that going outside is a good thing by getting involved and spending time outdoors with them. Pack a picnic and some activities and go to your local park to enjoy time outside. If your child has physical limitations, bring some fun activities (such as coloring books or ExploraToy Wooden Knob Puzzles) for them to enjoy outside. Every child can benefit from time outdoors, regardless of their physical limitations.
Whether you’re enjoying time outside in the sunshine or looking for engaging activities to enjoy indoors, ExploraToy is here to help. Our high-quality wooden toys are a great way to incorporate screenless play into your child’s routine. Check out our full selection here.