Outdoor Play Makes Your Child Happy And Healthy
One of the greatest joys of childhood is outdoor play. The freedom to run, jump, hop, shout and laugh out loud is pure happiness. But did you know that playing outside is crucial for the healthy physical and mental development of your child? Yes, the simplest way to improve your child’s overall wellbeing is to send him or her to outside to play.
Outdoor play is a great form of exercise that promotes overall physical development and emotional wellbeing. Children are naturally wired to play outdoors as it lets them explore nature, see and understand the world around them, interact with friends, develop muscle strength and coordination, communicate better and gain self-confidence. Active play also increases their flexibility and motor skills, which in turn helps in the development of a wide range of physical skills, including sports.
These days, children prefer to play on their mobiles than with their friends. This makes them sit idly at home, which means dangerously low physical activity and high risk of lifestyle diseases. This is precisely why we should encourage our children to go out and play – let them enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, get some good exercise and grow up into healthy, happy kids.
It’s good to have fun!
Mother Nature provides the best environment for children to explore, play and grow up into healthy individuals. The constant changes in nature intrigues them, making outdoor play an incredibly stimulating, multi-sensory experience. Researches suggest that children who love to play outdoors grow into adults with greater environmental awareness.
Outdoor play comes with lots of happy memories. Children are experts at finding interesting stuff that the adult eye usually misses, including beautifully shaped stones, leaves and twigs. You can keep these in a jar or use some of it to make cute crafts. This will not only remind them of all the fun they had, but also help them understand shapes, colours and textures better.
Most of us live in houses/ apartments with limited play areas. In such a situation, it will be ideal to find a park in the neighbourhood where they can play freely.
You can even convert your balcony into the ‘star gazing point’, where you can watch the sky change colours, spot clouds of different shapes, see birds flutter by and count stars in the night. And yes, make sure you switch off from technology when you are enjoying time with your children. It will make them really happy.
Understanding and assessing risk
Playing outside helps them to assess and understand their surroundings better. They will be able to gauge risks and react faster, which means sharper brain-eye coordination and reflexes. Make sure that you too keep a sharp eye on them, for we all know that children are prone to all kinds of dangers including falls, broken burns and other physical injuries.
Benefits of outdoor play
Outdoor play keeps your child physically and mentally fit. With the number of cases of childhood on the rise, it is extremely important to make sure that your child is active. Children who don’t get enough exercise are at an increased risk of contracting heart diseases, diabetes and high blood. Outside play also helps better your child’s fine and gross motor skills.
Mental and emotional benefits
Playing outside makes children happy. All the laughing, screaming and howling helps de-stress, de-clutter and refresh their minds.
When a child is playing on a swing, he or she will engage all the muscles to hold on, balance and coordinate their body to the swinging rhythm. This gives them first-hand knowledge and experience of spatial learning, such as up and down and back and forth. Also, when swinging, they see the world from a new exciting, perspective, which stimulates their eyes and brain.
Besides, toys that require balance and coordination, such as skates, scooters and bikes, also teach children new skills and encourage the development of self-confidence.
Playing improves the ability to memorise, think and learn in children. Spending time outdoors also allows them to explore and discover the world around them.
Outdoor play will allow your child to make new friends, better his or her communication skills, resolve conflicts, express feelings, follow rules and gain self-control.
Playing outside also promotes healthy sleep as all the excess energy is spent well. It also makes them happy and relaxed, which means they’ll sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed.