We know sitting in front of video games and TV. are not health beneficial. Being out doors helps our children to become creative. It is also known that children sleep better when they have played outdoors. My own children spent hours outdoors. They came in filthy, ninety percent of the time. They were so exhausted they would fall asleep in their bath. I did not mind the dirt on them nor did my wife, it meant to us that our children had a great time.
The benefits of outdoor play can be found physically and mentally. Physically we know the benefits strength endurance and builds coordination. Physical activity: mats, balls, riding toys, etc. Playing outside is a valuable activity for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. In many ways it promotes their development. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers are sensory-motor learners. Besides all the health benefits, playing outside stretches children’s thinking and knowledge. Children need coordination, they need a chance to practice their basic physical skills. Outdoor play time also allows children to move freely and make noise, forms of self-expression that are often restricted indoors.
Too often these days we are afraid to allow our children to play outside. There are so many dangers waiting around every corner. Make play groups, get a bunch of kids together and start games with them. Just be close by to make sure no injuries occur. I know as a working parent it is very hard to make sure your kids get out side daily. If neighbors could come together and each take one day a week to encourage the children in your neighborhood to play together. Each parent taking turns on the different days of the week, before long you will have very busy kids, not to mention free time for the separate parents, whose turn it is not.
Having kids go out and pick different leaves up to put in wax paper is a great way to get them outside and walking around. The children adore little art projects such as this. There are many benefits to outdoor play. It also gives our children a sense of adventure if they live near woods, always making sure they never enter extremely wooded areas alone.
Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This study examined the relationship between children’s nature exposure through leisure activities and their intentional functioning using both within and between-subjects comparisons. Parents were surveyed regarding their child’s intentional functioning after activities in several settings. Results indicate that children function better than usual after activities in green settings and that the “greener” a child’s play area, the less severe his or her attention deficit symptoms. Thus, contact with nature may support intentional functioning in a population of children who desperately need intentional support. Besides all this, playing outdoors reduces stress in kids. Children express and work out emotional aspects of every day experiences through unstructured play. Children allowed to play freely with peers learn skills for seeing things through another persons perspective, cooperating, sharing, and solving problems.
Children learn from motion. As adults we know that we learn through doing, it is the same for children. Developing perceptual abilities might suffer, when so many of their experiences are through media computers books and homework. The sense of smell touch and taste are wonderful ways to learn.
Children who are more free to spend time out doors, gain courage in moving through the larger world. They should gain the ability to navigate their immediate surroundings, in safety, thus laying the foundation for the competence to eventually lead their own lives.
The world we live in today is increasingly complex, and a little scary. The fact remains our children need as much as we did, the freedom to feel the wind on their cheek. The kiss of the sun, and engaging in self-paced play. Ignoring the developmental functions of unstructured outdoor play denies children the opportunity to expand their imaginations beyond the constraints of the classroom.