Child Growth And Development: How Can Outdoor Play Help?
Remember the times when playing with friends in your childhood meant heading outdoors and teaming up to play London Statue, hide-and-seek and other such games? Most of the time, playing meant losing track of time with friends and neighborhood kids under the bright sun until you were called back home. Though we never realised it then, this outdoor play is important for child growth and development.
However, things have changed in recent times. Compared to the previous generation, there has been a paradigm shift in the type of play kids engage in today. According to a survey conducted in the United States, it has been observed that children in the age group of 8 to 12 years spend around four to six hours using screened devices. Technology is a boon in today's world, but children end up spending most of their day indoors. Hence, parents must encourage their children to play outdoors as it has definitive effects on the physical and brain development of children.
Why Should Parents Encourage Their Children to Play Outdoors?
Most parents today are aware of the long hours that their child spends in front of the screen. While many understand the harmful effects of excess screen time, little do they know about the multiple benefits that outdoor play has on child growth and development
Here are some important reasons why you must encourage your child to play outdoor games:
- Improved motor skills: It has been observed that children who play outdoors every day tend to have better motor skills than kids who predominantly play indoors. Outdoor activities give children the opportunity to learn, practice and test their physical abilities and skills as compared to playing indoors.
- Improved Muscle Strength: With physical activity, your child maintains a healthy weight and improves their muscle strength. Therefore, children who play outdoors regularly tend to have stronger muscles than those who spend a great part of their day indoors.
- Increased lung capacity: During physical activity, our body draws more oxygen to meet its demands. Regular physical activity, therefore, improves lung capacity.
- Improved heart health: Physical activity, including outdoor games, helps reduce bad fat, excess cholesterol and increases the flexibility of blood vessels. These effects improve heart health in kids and prevent them from developing conditions like obesity, hypertension, and cardiac diseases when they grow up.
- More open with parents and caregivers: When kids play outdoors, they feel more relaxed and open up to their parents and caregivers better than kids who are glued to their screened devices indoors.
- Increased self-awareness: It has been observed that kids who play outdoors develop better reasoning and observational skills than those who are home-bodies. Outdoor play further gives children an opportunity to learn to explore various opportunities around.
- Appreciate the world around them: Children who spend their time outdoors are known to enjoy nature and appreciate plants and animals. They learn and understand the value of a sunset, the colours in a butterfly, how squirrels eat and just so much more.
- Mingling with others: Children who play outdoors regularly are more likely to come in contact with other people. This empowers them to be more understanding and empathetic with others.
- Sensory development: When your child sits in front of a screen, only two of their senses– hearing and seeing are being used contrary to the use of all five senses when they play outdoors. Encouraging them to play outdoors stimulates their sensory development in addition to physical development in children.
- Develop a sense of independence: Playing outdoors gives children a sense of independence and freedom that they do not experience indoors. Playing with their friends or peers also boosts this feeling, and this makes your child confident and self-assured as they grow older.
- Helps in brain development in children:H When playing outdoors, children are constantly innovating, developing a sense of autonomy, working on their decision-making skills and exploring the world around them by themselves. All of these activities help in the brain development of children.
- Boosts communication skills: Physical activity outdoors exposes children to other people and gives them ample opportunity to communicate with them. This helps in boosting their communication skills.
Relevant Resource: Are Greens Enough For Your Child’s Healthy Development?
How Can You Encourage Your Child to Stay Physically Active?
As a parent who understands the importance of physical activities and outdoor play for their children, here are some ways to encourage them to do so:
- Captivate their imagination and make outdoor play fun.
- Find different exciting physical activities.
- Take your child to different outdoor play areas.
- Allow your child the independence to pick the kind of outdoor play or physical activity they would like to participate in.
- Invite family and friends/peers to make outdoor play exciting for your child.
- Make outdoor play an everyday affair and encourage regular physical activity.
Physical activities help in the growth and development of children. Physical activities, especially those performed outdoors, boost your child's physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Are you looking for the best health drink for kids to support your child's intensive outdoor physical activities? Say 'hello!' to Prohance Junior- the best protein powder for kids. Replete with all the nutrients needed to give a boost to your kid's energy and health, this drink will support your kid's growth and ensure their holistic development. Place your order today!
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