The benefits of outdoor play

Group of children with toy aeroplane running in a park
Primary school 4-9 years

Your child spends a lot of time in the classroom, and much of our daily lives are spent indoors. Encouraging your child to spend time playing outdoors can help their motor, sensory, social and cognitive development – and is great for their general health and wellbeing.

Let’s go outside!

Try to get your child to spend some time playing outside every day. Outdoor play doesn’t have to be a big deal, just encourage your child to go out and play in the backyard, or you can visit your local park, oval or playground together.

Physical play

Playing outside is fantastic for helping children practise their physical abilities. Exercises such as running, jumping, skipping and playing ball games not only strengthen little muscles, but they can also help with gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and overall health and wellbeing.

Self-awareness

Experiencing outdoor play helps your child take risks and learn about their own abilities. For example, they can discover how high they can climb, how well they can balance, how fast they can run and what it is like to roll on grass.

Imaginative play

Playing outdoors is helpful for encouraging creative thinking through imagination. Outdoors, children can enjoy unstructured play, where they can make up activities and games on the spot with what is around them – a log can be a pirate ship sailing the seas, or a stick can be a magic wand – or anything they can imagine.

Playing games like ‘Hide and Seek’ are fun and important for your child’s development as they assist with language skills and social and emotional learning.

The nature lesson

Being outdoors also helps your child connect with nature and the environment around them. You can use the opportunity of going outside together to talk to your child about the natural world. For example, you could discuss how plants grow, the changing of the seasons or how caterpillars turn into butterflies.

Outdoor play is great fun and promotes happy, healthy and strong children – so try to encourage your child to play outside every day!

Last modified on Monday 20 February 2017 [49|735]

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