It is well known and generally accepted that the outdoor state comes with many benefits, both for children and adults. But children also have the great advantage that they can play outside and it is even recommended to do so. Of course, the busy schedule of adults, the lack of safe playgrounds or the school schedule can often be impediments, but it is important not to lose sight of why outdoor play helps children and how often we facilitate them. we can do that.

12 benefits of children's outdoor play


12 benefits of children's outdoor play


Contents: 

12 benefits of outdoor play for children 

  • Sunlight helps both body and brain 

  • Outdoors, children are more prone to movement 

  • Outdoor play allows children to develop their skills 

  • Young children learn new words and concepts 

  • Playing outdoors brings psychological benefits, including stress management and increased concentration 

  • Connecting with nature can reduce the risk of behavioral problems 

  • A collaborative outdoor game helps children learn social skills 

  • Positive experiences in nature teach children to respect and protect the environment 

  • Playing outdoors can help children fall asleep more easily 

  • Playing outdoors can encourage children to take calculated risks and be more confident in their abilities 

  • Outdoor time promotes an active and healthier lifestyle


12 benefits of outdoor play for children 


1. Reduce risk of myopia

Heredity plays an important role in the predisposition to myopia in children. However, there are factors that can help reduce this risk, and outdoor play is one of them. Studies have shown that children who spend more time outside are less likely to become nearsighted. For example, in a 2015 study, 6-year-olds who received an additional 40 minutes of outdoor time each day were less likely to develop myopia in the next three years. One possibility for this to happen is that the outside state offers the eyes a break from demanding activities such as homework, electronics, or reading. Another possibility is that the eyes are exposed to daylight, which reduces the risk of eye disease. 

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2. Sunlight helps both the body and the brain

Sunlight, even on a cloudy day, far exceeds the lighting inside. Therefore, going outside offers a greater exposure to light, which primarily favors the natural regulation of sleep rhythm. Restful sleep is known to be an essential condition for a healthy mind. In addition, exposure to sunlight increases the intake of vitamin D in the body, which supports bone development, muscle function and hormonal balance, especially at puberty.

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3. Outdoors, children are more prone to exercise

Because they train with each other, but also because they have more room for movement, children tend to exercise more when they play outside. For a healthy body, children need cardio-type exercise, which they do outright. In addition, moving outdoors brings proven benefits to a child's cognitive performance.

Although all children love to go out, some of them need to be encouraged to be physically active when playing outdoors. One approach for parents in this case is to help them find colleagues or friends to play with. Another would be to facilitate children's access to safe outdoor playgrounds, but also to encourage structured games such as team sports.

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4. Outdoor play allows children to develop their athletic skills 

Through the freedom of movement it offers, outdoor play helps children to improve their performance or the times in which they perform certain activities. Outside, children can run fast, climb high structures, jump, stretch a lot, all these activities supporting the development of muscles and coordination. 

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5. Young children learn new words and concepts

Studies suggest that hands-on exploration helps young children learn new words - especially words for things they can physically experience - such as movements, textures, touch objects, and physical processes.

It is much easier to learn what it means to get dirty if you feel the mud cling to your fingers and you are more likely to understand the concept of melting if you see the ice melting in the sun.

So, going outdoors is an opportunity for children to broaden their sensory experiences and gain an intuitive understanding of how things work. 

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6. Playing outdoors brings psychological benefits, including stress management and increased concentration

Experimental studies suggest that nature walks help reduce stress and increase well-being, at least in the short term. There is also research that shows that children become more attentive and focused after playing for a few hours in nature.

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7. Connecting with nature can reduce the risk of behavioral problems

In a study of preschoolers, researchers found that children who spend more hours a day in nature are less prone to emotional distress and show greater kindness than others. those around. Studies also show that permanent exposure of children to green spaces reduces the risk of developing certain behavioral problems such as hyperactivity and attention deficit. 

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8. Cooperative outdoor play helps children learn social skills

Children who spend more time outdoors are more cooperative and able to verbalize their wishes and play with others. On the other hand, time spent playing computer games inhibits social skills. When they play outside, the children feel less stressed, more focused and happier, which helps them to maintain friendships and improve their communication skills.

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9. Positive experiences in nature teach children to respect and protect the environment

People who have positive experiences in nature are more likely to behave in ways that protect the environment. We can see the effect in both children and adults: children who spend more time in the wild express more appreciation for wildlife and more support for conservation.

Moreover, childhood experiences predict adult behavior. In a study of 6-year-olds, researchers found that spending time outdoors as a child was positively linked to environmentally responsible behavior during adulthood.

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10. Playing outdoors can help children fall asleep more easily.

Children who play outdoors do more exercise and consume energy in a constructive and healthy way. They are also exposed to sunlight, which helps regulate the body's internal clock. When we receive more sunlight, our brain becomes better synchronized with the natural rhythms of day and night.

So, if you have a child who is awake too late at night, one remedy is to increase his exposure to sunlight during the day by encouraging him to play outdoors. At the same time, it is recommended to reduce the exposure time to the screens. 

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11. Playing outside can encourage children to take calculated risks and be more confident in their abilities.

Today, children are rarely allowed to engage in activities that could put them at risk of injury. and this is not exactly beneficial, because they cannot test and develop their physical abilities.

In Norway, many preschoolers go to outdoor schools in the wild, where they can climb trees, jump in puddles, and play in the mud. When children master these challenges, they feel excited and learn that they can cope with scary situations.

Specialists recommend that parents give their children access to outdoor places equipped with climbing structures and access to sand, water, even mud. It is also recommended that they be given the opportunity to help in the garden or to take care of the animals. Children learn a lot from these experiences and increase their self-confidence. 

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12. Outdoor time promotes a more active and healthy lifestyle

Playing outdoors reduces the risk of obesity among children and helps them to develop harmoniously and balanced, because it predisposes them to exercise. Exercise also regulates appetite and may help children to eat healthier foods at the expense of sugars and fats.

Because the benefits of outdoor play are proven on many levels of children's development, parents are encouraged by specialists to facilitate as many outdoor play experiences as possible for their children, thus giving them the chance for a healthier life. even more harmonious.

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