These days it is quite common to find children glued to smartphones and tablets instead of playing outside. The number is only increasing. Lack of exposure to the outside world can cause problems in health and the overall development of the person.
As a parent, you need to encourage your children to go outside and explore the world. Here are some of the ways by which playing outside helps in your child’s development.
Playing outside is a great way to develop your child’s learning abilities. You can enhance this further by letting them play with educational toys that help them develop new skills and learn more information.
Children can also develop a problem-solving attitude and learn important life lessons by playing outside. The best kind of learning happens while playing.
Being outside with natural surroundings can boost your child’s creativity. Whenever your child is away from the confinements of being indoors, objects around them can stimulate artistic ideas and creativity.
Improve Physical Development
This one is probably a no-brainer. With more space to play in, children tend to be more active when they are outside. This can boost their stamina and fitness, strengthen their bones and muscles, and build immunity. It can also protect your child from health conditions like obesity and diabetes that come in the later stages of life.
The natural breeze and sunlight help their bodies to gain essential Vitamin D which can prevent Rickets that occurs due to vitamin D deficiency. While smartphones and tablets can impair your child’s vision, outdoor games can improve their eyesight.
Going outside and meeting other children or adults can help improve socialization in your child. As outdoors are usually not crowded as indoors, the less intimidating environment helps them come out of their shells and become more social.
Children become more willing to join other children and engage in games and physical activities. This helps them make friends and learn social skills to interact with others away from a parent’s supervision.
Encourage Independence and Personality Development
Outdoor games aid your child’s personality development in a lot of ways. Away from a parent’s supervision, children are forced to behave independently. This encourages them to make new friends independently and even teaches them how to play on their own. They learn to take turns while playing games and also pick themselves up on their own if they fall. They can also learn qualities like sportsmanship, team playing, and discipline.
Children also learn to deal with situations on their own when their parents are not around. They learn to negotiate setbacks, handle new and unfamiliar objects and conditions, and take action in case of emergencies. All of these help them to become independent and self-reliant.
Improve Attention Span
Outdoor games can help improve mental abilities in many ways, one of which is their attention span. This can improve their concentration, focus, reasoning, and observational skills. This can further develop their intelligence and also improve their learning in classrooms.
Studies have shown that playing outdoors can help remarkably improve attention spans in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Develop Motor Skills
A motor skill is a way your child moves his arms or legs. Gross motor skills are large movements like running, jumping, crawling, etc. while fine motor skills are much smaller movements. With enough practice, these motor skills can be improved.
Outdoor games can significantly improve your child’s motor skills, both gross and fine. They become more agile, have better coordination, and improve their balance while playing games.
Encourage a Positive Attitude
Positivity is key to having a happier and stress-free life. Playing outside in natural surroundings can encourage them to be more positive, leading to a happier and calmer disposition. Outdoor games can channelize your child’s natural energy in a more meaningful way.
Being around more greenery and natural surroundings can help your children learn more about Mother Nature. They find nature fascinating and develop a long-lasting bond with it.
They become more conscious and aware of nature and can be more responsible towards issues like Global Warming, Pollution, Animal Conservation, Deforestation, and take steps to protect and conserve the nature.
Instil Healthy Lifestyles
Studies have shown that children who played outside often grew up to adults who lead a well-balanced and healthier lifestyle. They develop good decision-making abilities and become better at risk assessment as they learn to challenge themselves and push the limits of their abilities.
While it can be greatly advantageous for your children to play outside, too much of something can be bad as well. Playing outside too much can lead to your children neglecting their studies. It can also lead to physical strain when they are not supervised properly.
Do encourage your children to play outside, but let them do it in moderation so that they don’t end up injuring themselves or ignoring their academics.