Top benefits of outdoor play for children

A little girl smiling at the playground

Being parents, we all want the best for our children. We want them to be healthy, happy, and well-rounded individuals equipped to tackle life’s challenges. One of the most powerful ways to ensure that our children have all these qualities is to encourage them to play outdoors. Outdoor play has many benefits for children, and in this post, we’ll be discussing the top benefits of outdoor play for children. You’ll see that spending time outside, enjoying family walks, and play isn’t just beneficial for your kids’ physical development. On the contrary, numerous other aspects are benefiting from it too.

The ultimate list of benefits of outdoor play for children

It’s no secret that outdoor play has a plethora of benefits for kids. However, due to our busy world, finding time and effort to take the kids outside can be challenging. On the other hand, many parents have started feeling that busy lives were taking a toll on their family’s emotional and physical well-being. For that reason, many have decided that moving to smaller towns is an excellent solution to this problem.

Living in the suburbs or smaller places across the country has numerous advantages, especially for our kids. A calmer way of life, being more in touch with nature, and even on the busiest days, having your porch and yard for kids to run around sounds priceless. Therefore, if you’re planning to relocate to a smaller place and wish to ensure a smooth transition, let’s learn about all those reasons contributing to your decision-making. AKA – Why is spending time outside so crucial for kids?

A girl independently tying her shoelaces outdoors.

Increased independence, better social skills, and improved focus are some benefits of outdoor play for children.

Improved physical health

Outdoor play gets kids moving and helps keep them being and staying active. Activities like running, climbing, and playing games are proven to improve their physical health and fitness. Spending time outdoors also aids in keeping a healthy weight and, therefore, lowers their risk of health issues like obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Studies have shown that children who spend more time outdoors are more physically active than those who spend most of their time indoors. Additionally, playing outdoors can help to improve children’s balance, coordination, and overall fitness levels.

Increased creativity and imagination

Playing outside provides children with a wide range of stimulating experiences that can help to develop their creativity and imagination. It’s been proven that children who play in natural environments have increased creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving abilities.

As the natural world is full of surprises, children can be endlessly fascinated by the different sights, sounds, and smells they encounter while exploring. Being in nature also encourages children to use their imagination, as they can explore, create stories and games, and develop new ideas.

Boosted mental health and overall well-being

Open-air play has also been linked to improved mental health and well-being in children. For example, being in nature has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and spending time in green spaces has been linked to improved mood and self-esteem.

Numerous studies have shown that children who spend more time in nature have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and that nature can have a calming effect on the brain. Additionally, the natural environment is an excellent place for children to unwind, relax, and forget about their worries. So, next time you don’t know what to do with yourselves, maybe a nice chilly walk and talking about what’s been going on could be a great idea.

Improved social skills

Playing outside also helps kids develop social skills. For example, they learn to share, take turns and communicate effectively when they play with other children in natural environments.

Outdoor play allows kids to develop their social skills naturally and informally, which can be more effective than structured activities. Additionally, playing games and sports with other kids in an outdoor setting can also help kids to learn teamwork, cooperation, and leadership skills.

Elizabeth Szilva is a dedicated teacher and loving mother who is passionate about child development and play. In her free time, she enjoys sharing her ideas and insights on social media platforms and through guest blog posts. She has built an amazing community of parents and educators looking to enhance their understanding of child play. Whether through her writing or her work in the classroom, Elizabeth is committed to helping children reach their full potential through the power of play.”