Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor Play
What better place for young children to master their emerging physical skills than the great outdoors? Especially in a place like Queensland, which offers a unique and wondrous environment for children to play and explore and to connect with nature.
It is in the outdoors that children can fully and freely fine-tune their gross motor skills; they can run, leap, jump, skip, roll, hop and do other physical activities which indoor play doesn’t allow because of space or other restrictions (such as making a mess!).
Children are naturally drawn to physically-active play outdoors. It is fun and exciting, but more importantly, it provides a great form of exercise that promotes wellbeing as well as physical development.
How children benefit from outdoor play
- Climbing, running and other physical activities help to develop motor skills, balance and concentration.
- Outdoor play increases children’s flexibility and develops muscle strength.
- It promotes social and emotional development – children are more likely to invent games and express themselves as they learn about the world they live in (in their own way).
- Exercise is proven to help improve children’s emotional health, allowing for calmness and a heightened sense of wellbeing
Outdoor activity ideas for parents
- Nature walk
- Obstacle course
- A ‘listening walk’ (sensory experience)
- Parachute games using an old sheet (you’ll need lots of space for this!)
- Chasing bubbles
- Water painting (paint the side of a house or a tree using a bucket of water and a large paint brush)
- Having fun with sustainability – composting, gardening, worm farms
- Looking for shapes in the clouds
- Water play (mathematical concepts and sensory experience)