Benefit of Outdoor Play

Benefits of Outdoor play

By Ani Oganesyan OTR/L

Outdoor play is an important occupation for many of our children. Children in general are very active and could benefit from outdoor play. 

Nowadays children are spending less time outdoors, and it’s affecting their overall development. Instead, children are indoors more often, spending an increased amount of time behind screens (television, Ipad, etc.). This is changing their body posture, decreasing their opportunities for full body movement, and decreasing their attention.

Outdoor play engages all of our senses. It is a natural environment beneficial for sensory and motor development. Kids learn a lot of skills through play. For example, children can develop gross and fine motor skills, language skills, improve body awareness, and engage their sensory system through outdoor play. Outdoor play enhances social participation and increases social emotional skills as children play alongside one another. Additionally, being in nature can positively impact children’s well-being and mental health. Children can reduce anxiety, improve their emotional regulation, increase their attention, and improve their physical health by simply increasing their time spent playing outdoors. 

 

Ideas for outdoor play:

  • Sports
  • Going to the Park
  • Playground play
  • Hide and seek
  • Pretend play
  • Bike/scooter rides
  • Build forts
  • Gardening

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