Outdoor play is important to early childhood learning. Studies prove that outdoor activities, such as playing in a wooden cubby, keep children engaged and healthy and stimulate mental development. How does outdoor play accomplish this?
The Mental Advantages of Outdoor Health
A healthy brain is one that has gone through a healthy development. For a child, this means playing and learning in a way that challenges how they see the world. Outdoor play offers many cognitive benefits, all of which help children grow into creative and inquisitive individuals. For example, outdoor play increases opportunities for exploratory and creative learning and enhances decision-making and problem-solving skills.
Children miss out on these benefits if they do not play outdoors. When kids are racing around the backyard or playing in the sand are not just having fun. These activities actually form the foundations for more advanced learning. Thus, outdoor play is a great way for children to learn new ideas and concepts.
The Role of Outdoor Play in Early Childhood Development
All children learn at their own pace. This is why many have difficulty with the early introduction of academic subjects. Not everyone picks up reading and writing straightaway, especially if they were not exposed to books and literacy before they began school. Fortunately, much learning takes place outside the classroom.
Through outdoor play, children can enhance the skills that lead to stronger academic success. Take writing as an example. Children can learn to write without even holding a pencil. If you replace the pencil with paint or sand, the children can use their fingers to shape letters from a very young age. It is a lot easier (and more fun!) to write with your fingers than to write with a pencil. Once they ‘master’ finger writing, they will be ready to write on paper.
While children can learn from video games and educational programmes, the benefits of indoor play do not match the benefits of playing outdoors. Thus, parents should encourage their children to play outside rather than letting them spend all their time on tablets or watching TV.