There are a lot of wonders that a child can discover whenever they are playing. According to Albert Einstein, “Play is the highest form of research.” It is the reason why we should allow our children to run around outside our house. Let their curious little minds find new things and embrace the outdoors. As a parent, you should know what are the benefits of outdoor play so you can be more comfortable when they play under the sun.
When to Allow Your Kids to Get Exposed Outdoors?
You can bring your little one outside a day after being born when the sun is not yet too hot. Exposing them to the natural light will help their eyes adjust easily and would stimulate their brain. You can also go to the park for 20 minutes a day to observe the surrounding. Once they learn to walk, you can let them enjoy the grass and the dirt. Explaining to them the different things around them can also help develop their hearing and allows them to be curious about whatever they see. You will know when they are listening because they will babble, or they will stare at you.
What are the Benefits of Outdoor Play for Children?
Before mobile phones and portable devices, children go out and play. Reducing or eliminating screen time is advisable for children 2 years old and below because they are still developing, and screen time may cause too much harm for their young brain. If you want to know what are the benefits of outdoor play to your children, they are as follows:
- Enhanced immune system – Exposing children to different organisms can help build their immunity. There will be fewer problems when they grow older.
- Muscle development – Since outdoor play makes children run around and use their bodies to explore, it enhances and develops their muscle movement and makes them strong.
- Cognitive development – While children are running around, they get to discover new things. Their curiosity forces them to think and ask a few questions which are good for their cognitive development.
- Social skills – If you bring your child to the playground, they get to meet other kids and have friends.
- Good mental health – Playing reduces stress and allows children to have stable mental health.
- Hands-on learning – According to an American Philosopher John Dewey, a hands-on approach to learning allows children to learn faster. This is called Learning by Doing Theory. While they are playing, children get to learn by experiencing things.
- Good eye-sight – Part of what are the benefits of outdoor play is a healthy eye-sight. Playing outdoors allows their eyes to see further distance and exercises the muscles around their eyes.
These are just a few of the many benefits that a child can get when they play outdoors. Staying and playing indoors is fine, but if you want them to open their horizons and let them experience new things, playing outdoors is the best way to do that. Going to the park, have a family trip, or simply playing at the backyard will help them get all these benefits.
How to Prepare Your Child to Play Outside?
Knowing what are the benefits of outdoor play encourage you to play with your children. It helps build and strengthen your relationship with your child and it helps them grow strong and smart. Here are the things you need to do to prepare your child before playing outside.
- Have a scheduled play-date – It is good to play with your child outdoors because it helps strengthen your bond and relationship with them. They will also feel loved and secured. Having a scheduled playdate will help them understand the concept of time and add excitement to their usual routine.
- Let them wear comfortable clothes – Since children will be moving most of the time, let them wear the most comfortable clothes so that there will be no irritations and they will be comfortable while playing.
- Tell them not to go far – Let your child play within your sight so that you are aware of what they are doing. It is also for you to see how well they are doing when they are playing.
- Use sunblock – Even though there are a lot of health benefits that the sun can give, it can still be harmful if your children are overexposed to it. Sunblock is one way to keep their skin safe from sunburn.
- Set a time – Set a time or a curfew so that your child will know when playtime is enough.
- It is ok to get dirty and have bruises or scratches – Let your child know that it is ok to get dirty and have bruises or scratches while playing. It teaches them a valuable lesson to be careful with what they are doing.
- If they fall, they must get up – It is best to teach them how to stand on their own at an early age to develop their independence.
Even if you allow your child to play outdoors, it is still good to set some rules so that they will be safe while they are playing. Children will often get carried away while playing outdoors. That is why setting a few rules will help them know their limitations and boundaries so that there will be no harm that will happen to them. Get more tips on child learning.
Play is our children’s first form of education. Knowing what are the benefits of outdoor play makes us realize the importance of a safe outdoor place for our child to enjoy. As parents, we must encourage them to go out more often rather than allow them to sit on the couch and stare at their phone screens all the time. Just be sure that they are following the rules that you set, and you are there to watch over them while they are playing. Playing outside ensures that your child will have a wonderful childhood.