The trend over the past decade has been for children’s play to become predominantly indoors and less active than previous years. iPads and television seem to dominate children’s play time and we are already seeing the disadvantages of this change of habit.
There are many in depth studies carried out in the UK that highlight the negative impact this change is having on children’s health and personal development. In the same period there have also been many studies that show the benefits of outdoor play for children so we decided to present the top five reasons for outdoor play below:
Top of the list is overall health. Children benefit massively when playing outside. Firstly fresh air is important to the development of healthy respiratory systems. With more space to play when outdoors children tend to be more active and their play more adventurous thus burning more energy and using more muscles to help develop both physical strength and other skills such as coordination. Playing outside can also expose kids to more sunshine providing them with much needed Vitamin D even in the winter months when there is less light.
Playing outside is less intimidating than indoor play for children partly because they are less crowded. This helps them to come out of their shells and express more of the emotion towards their play with others. In turn this makes them more likely to join in play with other kids which helps to develop their social skills. Outside play also encourages children to make new friends that they may not meet in indoor environments where there is less chance for interaction. Often outdoor play is also less supervised so kids can let their hair down and burn off some of that energy.
Learning through play is an important part of any child’s development and is often more agreeable for young children than learning in indoor environments. By adding educational equipment outdoors children are able to learn new skills and information in a calm environment. Musical play, puzzles and activity panels are very popular with young children and provide a great way to learn outside. It also helps kids to disassociate learning with the classroom and allows them to soak up information in new environments.
Often referred to as imaginative play, creativity flows outside where the constraints of indoor play are lifted. Children’s imagination tends to flourish when outside in the fresh air and this helps them to deepen their creative talents often inspired by the objects around them.
Playing inside tends to centre around screens these days whereas outdoor play equipment involves more risk and more excitement. Whether it’s a challenging rope walk or a scary slide children love challenges and it helps to boost their confidence as they push their boundaries and accomplish new and bigger tasks. This in turn often leads to children exploring more so they can get their teeth in to the next challenge. Often this exploration comes with an added bonus of not being guided by elders or adults, making the end result all together more rewarding.
If you are looking for new outdoor play equipment in the coming months why not look at our range and give us a call. We are happy to visit sites and advise on the best use of the space available whether it’s a park, a school playground or a holiday camp or caravan site we install outdoor play equipment all over the UK.
We also supply and install a range of outdoor buildings including classrooms and other shelters which allow children to be outside but also have a space they can group up in to learn and share their experiences providing all weather learning and play.