The Benefit Of Outdoor Play for Children's Development

Fresh air and fun

Why is it so important to be out and about for children as they grow and develop?

Outdoor play encourages children to be active as they are away from screens and tablets. If children have something to sit and stare at that plugs in then they will choose that. All too often though once that has been removed children are happier because they can see the world around them. Imagine as an adult having that beach, park or woodland taken away from you and you just have a world inside a screen. How would you feel? Children need to explore, get mud on their hands and feel the wind on their cheeks.

Outdoor play stimulates curiosity in little ones as well as their creativity and problem solving skills. Children need to be presented with a blank canvas which is exactly what the outdoors is. A beach, woodland, garden or park really do bring so many opportunities to experience different textures, sounds and sights.

Interaction can present itself when a child is outside because it allows them to build friendships, open conversations and have social connections. Children love to play with others and take on roles including negotiation, collaboration and sharing. If a child is always indoors having screen time they could potentially miss out developmentally.

Being with your child outside is a wonderful way to bond, have some additional vitamin d and release some endorphins. Why are endorphins good for you? Well they can improve mood, lower stress, relieve pain and enhance your feeling of well being. Surely that is reason enough to put your shoes on and embrace the wind and sunshine (if you are lucky enough to see some!)

So next time your child says, 'I'm bored!' get your shoes and coat on and take them out into nature. It is free and will benefit you both in so many ways.


Catherine Williams