Playing outside every day is good for the body and the mind. Being outside for playtime has many benefits for children and we listed a few of our favorites here:
- Children can see the community they live in. By going outside to play, children see other people who may be the same or different from them all living in one area. You can even pack some gloves and a trash bag and pick up trash on your way there and back. Children feel more included when they helping pitch in. Of course, never let your child pick up any sharp objects, even with gloves!
- Children are encouraged to use their imagination. With everything made in miniature version, it is fun and healthy for children to use their imagination to create a “cake” by mixing “ingredients” with a “spoon” they found outdoors. This is actually an early form of problem solving!
- Children have the opportunity to exercise. Everyone, even children need exercise. While we go to the gym for an hour (more like forty minutes) our kids need room to run and jump and climb and there is no better place than outdoors in your local park!
- Children learn social skills. The park and playground are for everyone, which means children must learn to take turns, wait and play by certain rules. This is something we can tell our children, but really this all takes practice. An even better bonus? There are new and different people every time you go, so your child may have to learn different social adjustments each and every time!
- Children learn to try new things. Remember the first time you went across the monkey bars alone? This is a great chance your child to feel accomplishment when they master something that was challenging. Nothing builds self-esteem like real accomplishments. Just remember, it’s important that your child feels a tad frustration to feel like he/she accomplished something!
So now with a few reasons why being outside is a must, make sure your child gets some time every day to play outside!
By Shannon Drummond, founder of The Play Champs. The Play Champs offers outdoor classes to build child development in local parks throughout New York City.