How Does Outdoor Play Benefit Children's Health?
Encouraging Kids to Play Outside
With Spring reminding us all how glorious the sun is, getting our kids to play outdoors is at the top of parental plans. Of course, there is more to outside play than muddy knees and buzzing bees. Join Jaques of London, as we ask, How Does Outdoor Play Benefit Children’s Health?
Improved Educational Performance.
Improved Social Interaction.
Healthier Bones and Muscles.
Improved Mental Health.
More Confident Interaction with Other Children.
Reduced Screen Time.
Learning New Games and Team Activities.
Improved Motor Skills.
Improved Emotional Development.
With our leisurely list out of the way, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of adventure and learn just how important outdoor play is for our kids’ health.
Benefits to Physical Health
A healthy body - a healthy mind. And there is no better time to begin the path to physical and mental well-being, than during the fun-filled joys of childhood. Fortunately, there are no shortage to the amazing outdoor activities for children to build their bodies and brains.
Sadly, the UK has one of the Europe’s most notable rates of childhood obesity. A 2018 BUPA health study found that one in five children between the ages of 10 and 11 were believed to be clinically obese.
Children under the age of five are suggested to participate in more than 180 minutes of physical activity a day, whilst children over this age should be looking to do the same for a period of 60 minutes a day.
Regular outdoor play for children is a sure-fire way to say farewell to fat. Of course, the benefits don’t stop at a fight against unhealthy fats.
Outdoor play is a top route to improved motor skills. Whilst indoor toys are a great way to develop fine motor skills for nimble fingers, outdoor play benefits children’s bodies in a broadly rounded manner. Walking, running, ducking and diving, are all great ways to develop a stronger core and build physical sporting abilities., whilst simultaneously boosting confidence.
Mental Well-Being and Social Benefits
Equally as important as pint-sized physical fitness, getting our children playing outdoors is an essential part of ensuring that they are emotionally strong and possess a positive mental well-being. This is largely due to the positive social impact outdoor play can provide.
What would a game of catch be without a chaser and chasee? Playing outside with others encourages cooperation between kids, whilst also helping them to form a positive association with the different personalities of fellow playmates.
Of course, what could be better than getting a healthy touch of vitamin D gifting sunrays, whilst revelling in the beauty of nature? A GOV.uk study found that four in five children reported being far happier when spending time outdoors.
So, when it comes to putting a smile upon our adventurer’s faces, crack open the doors and wave hello to the outside world.
Outdoor Activities Help Communication
Space means more than planets and rocket ships. The space afforded to children when playing outside can also be significant when considering the ways in which they develop and learn to be around others. GOV UK found that children who regularly played outside were more likely to demonstrate extrovert qualities, when compared to those who play inside. This is literally down to the space offered by the great outdoors. Indoor play can see children become more combative and competitive in a smaller space. In contrast, getting out and about gives children the physical and mental freedom to be more expressive, and develop longer lasting relationships with friends.
A 2021 NHS study into kids’ screen time, found that children who spent more time isolated and in front of screens were more likely to have issues in class. Sadly, many of these would be prone to bullying, with limited interaction with others translating to a lack of empathy and understanding for the emotions of others.
Fortunately, the outside world has no end of exciting activities for sun supporters and garden gurus. With the lockdown blues looking increasingly likely to be a thing of the past, it is an amazing experience to be outside with our kids again, and our children are certainly seeing the benefits. Whether clinging onto a kite, jumping for skipping rope joy, or testing your quoits aim, there are no shortage to the play activities to be found outdoors this May.
May = Play! So, there is no need to ask, ‘How Does Outdoor Play Benefit Children's Health?’, any longer. Jaques are throwing open the doors and revelling in play. For healthy and happy children, look no further than Jaques of London.