I remember the days when playing outside was one of the most fun things about being a kid and we loved all types of outdoor play.
Nowadays, the world is a very different place and although advances in technology are great, they’ve also led to kids spending less and less time playing outside.
That doesn’t mean that outdoor play is any less important now than it was years ago.
But it does mean we all need to figure out ways to get kids out of their online virtual world more and into the real world more.
And one great way to do that is to encourage them to play outside.
Outdoor play is extremely important for kids and this article will explain how outdoor play helps your kids develop, give you some ideas for things your kids can do outdoors, some fun family outdoor activities and lots more.
Our hope is simple: We want to inspire everyone to encourage their kids to spend more time outside in the ‘real world’ getting some wonderful fresh air and exercise!
Why It’s Important For Children To Play Outside
Outdoor play helps your child develop in many ways including physically, intellectually and emotionally.
While kids will develop naturally to some degree, they also need to exercise their minds and bodies and make real-life connections with friends and peers in order to reach their full developmental potential.
In order to for your child to adequately develop their gross motor skills, they need to have space to exercise their large muscle groups by engaging in activities such as running, jumping and hopping.
Many times playing inside just doesn’t give them the room they need to really get into more physical activities.
Playing outside on a regular basis, even if it’s in a small area, is a great way to help your child develop physically.
Overall, playing outside allows kids to be more active than playing inside and that increased exercise can not only help prevent obesity, it can also keep blood pressure and blood sugar levels within normal ranges.
On top of that, the sun helps stimulate your child’s body’s production of Vitamin D which is essential for healthy, strong bones.
In addition to the physical benefits, studies show that children who are encouraged to spend time outside are less stressed, feel more balanced emotionally and have greater self esteem.
Other studies done specifically on children with ADHD have proved that allowing kids with this condition to have access to green areas on a daily or frequent basis helps calm some of the child’ hyperactivity.
If outdoor play can help calm a hyperactive child, think of how a child not suffering from hyperactivity can be benefit from the calming influence of playing outdoors!
There are even studies and anecdotal evidence that suggests that spending time outside in the fresh air sunshine helps improve mental focus and recharges the mental batteries of both children and adults.
All things considered, it’s easy to see that outdoor play is important to your helping your child grow up healthy and happy physically, intellectually and emotionally.
Outdoor Games And Activities
If you leave your child to their own devices outside, they’ll have no trouble finding all kinds of games and activities to amuse themselves.
Family Outdoor Games And Activities
It’s wonderful when families spend time together outdoors and there are lots of fun things to do as a family.
Outdoor Play Toys
Outdoor play toys run the gambit from extremely inexpensive to top of the line.
There are toys made to play outside with that fit every kind of budget and every interest your child has.
The list of toys that are suitable for outdoor play is practically endless and we’re happy to give you these suggestions:
Outdoor Toys For The Home Environment
When it comes to toys that your child can play with outside at home, there are plenty of great ones.
Outdoor Toys For Kids On The Go
Of course not all outdoor toys are meant to be used in your backyard. Many toys are best suited for parks, sidewalks around your neighborhood, pools and beaches.
Kid Made Outdoor Toys
Not all of the toys and games your child plays needs to be bought at a store. When I was a kid lots of families didn’t have much disposable income so store-bought toys were a luxury, not a given.
But we didn’t mind – we just made our own toys and games.
Outdoor Play Area Ideas
Today with more and more parents living hectic lives and working indoors, many people love to get outside in their free time.
Getting outside in your spare time is one of the most wonderful ways for a family to bond.
Depending on what kind of yard or outdoor space you have, you might want to designate certain areas of it to specific uses.
One of those uses might be an outdoor play area and there are many ideas for creating a fantastic space that both you and your kids can enjoy.
Outdoor Play Areas For Infants And Toddlers
Outdoor Play Structures
Outdoor play structures can offer your child a variety of imaginative ways to play.