Outdoor Play - Why is it important?

At this time of year when the evenings are drawing in and the weather is getting cooler it is tempting to stay indoors with your children and opt for warmer and quieter play activities. However, apart from being lots of fun, there are other benefits to playing outdoors.

Urbairns take lots of portraits outdoors so it is important to embrace the weather.  "There's no such thing as the wrong kind of weather, only the wrong kind of clothing," so wrap up, get your waterproofs on and enjoy being outdoors because here are some of the benefits:

  • Physical Development children can use their whole body as they play outdoors. They can run, jump, roll, climb, swing, spin... if your child has well-developed gross motor skills this will help later when they are going to start holding writing implements. Fresh air also makes you feel good and you can get lots of exercise meaning that your child may sleep better.
  • Connecting with nature our planet is in the hands of our children and it is our duty to teach them about nature, how to respect and care for it so that they may become responsible citizens with good environmental awareness
  • Taking risks our society is becoming increasingly risk-adverse and so many activities are banned in schools. Being outdoors children can learn to manage risk as well as trying new skills. As a parent it can be hard to step back as your little one clambers into a tree but believe in them, be close by and be amazed by what they can do
  • Creativity children often use objects around them when engaging in play. Inside this may be limiting as many toys can have a fixed purpose. However outdoors loose parts can be used in imaginative ways. Stones can become characters in a story, a stick can become a sword and mud can become a chocolate cake
  • Well-being children are generally happier when they are outside. Perhaps it is to do with the lack of walls or ceiling and the endless space that they have in which to explore. They can get rid of built up energy and helps them to become calmer.