The importance of outdoor play

Nature is probably the most resourceful learning environment. A space we often take for granted and don’t use optimally. Outdoor play is beneficial for each area of child development: physical, cognitive, social and emotional.

While in contact with their direct environment, children are exposed to sensory stimulation; smelling the flowers, feeling the grass under their feet and hearing the birds sing. This opens children up to new learning experiences.

When they run, climb trees, skip and ride their bicycles, their gross motor skills develop which in turn is important for e.g. sitting still and the ability to concentrate.

Outdoor play is important to develop creative thinking. Children get to create their own games and rules and to build their own constructions by using natural resources.

By collecting stones and leaves, counting and sorting them and ordering natural resources into groups and patterns, children develop mathematical skills spontaneously.

Just by playing outdoor, being physically active and taking part in fantasy play, children get to handle their emotions and learn to cope with difficult situations, they get rid of excess energy and it lower their levels of aggression.

Outdoor play is part of the fundamental building blocks that precede formal learning. Without the skills that they master by playing outdoors, children have difficulty to cope in the formal learning environment.

Besides from learning experiences, outdoor play is fun, it makes them feel happy and boost their immune systems which create healthy children. And then they even eat and sleep better.

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