Six reasons why children need to play outside

Six reasons why children need to play outside

Outdoors activities are not as popular with children as they used to be. And lockdown may have made that even worse.

However, playing outside has a lot of benefits and the younger ones in the house should be encouraged to do so. Not only that, but it will help them to stay healthy and active later in their life.

We’ve highlighted some of the key benefits of children playing outside.

Meeting other children

While they spend a lot of time playing inside, they are not socialising with other children.

Children need to learn how to play and work in a team, with other people. This will not only teach them how to interact with other kids, but it will also widen their minds and perspective.

Staying active & healthy

Although indoor activities are a great way to keep children active, especially during the winter months, children should also be encouraged to do outdoor exercise.

Playing outside helps children develop their motor skills while performing exercises that require them to use their whole body.

The natural world offers endless opportunities for physical activity, which helps children develop strong bodies. Outdoor play generally leads children to burn more calories and contributes to their overall fitness.

Additionally, exposure to sunlight will also allow children to absorb vitamin D, which has many positive benefits.

Children become aware of nature

Playing outdoors is a brilliant way of getting out in nature and becoming aware of the environment. As well as this, children who gain knowledge and appreciation of nature are more likely to become nature aware adults.

In nature, children can play alone and connect with their surroundings, or play with other kids. They learn how to share; problem solve and how to be more independent.

Playing outside makes children happy

Outdoor light stimulates the pineal gland.

Do you know what the pineal gland is?

Well, it’s an important part of our body and it has a lot of different functions, being one of them to regulate our melatonin levels, which are responsible for maintaining a regular sleep pattern.  It also helps to regulate happy hormones like endorphins or serotonin.

But wait, there’s more.

The pineal gland is responsible for sending signals to our immune system when it detects viruses and other infections in the body.

Increases their attention span

A simple walk in nature can be beneficial for those kids who struggle with attention span, self-discipline, and stress.

Inside the house, children are exposed to a range of different stimuli that can be distracting and lead to frustration; phones, tablets, TV, internet, computers…

Children are now experiencing the use of several devices at a time, normally connected to the internet.

This means they will be exposed to a range of different stimuli that can be distracting and lead to frustration. Playing outdoors allows them to slow down and take their time. They develop curiosity and are likely to stay with a task longer.

Expanded learning space

Outdoor play gives children a great opportunity to explore new information and skills while having fun.

And it teaches them a valuable lesson. Education is not just books and an indoor classroom. Every activity is an opportunity to learn and acquire new knowledge and skills. 

Outdoor play at Scallywags

We have two outdoor areas to explore, where children can experience the different climates. All areas of the curriculum are covered outside, as it’s a great space to introduce children to the natural world.

Covered play equipment allows children to enjoy outdoor play in all weathers.