MamaToyz: How does outdoor play boost a child’s development?
We are becoming increasingly aware of the impact of our children spending too much time inside. After being through a dreary British winter and having no motivation to leave our cosy homes, it can sometimes be difficult to motivate our children to get up, out and move when the weather turns. In this article, we’ve detailed the health and well-being benefits of how outdoor play boosts your little one’s development so you can feel energised and inspired to keep motivating them to get outside this summer!
Outdoor play has a multitude of benefits to your child's health impacting their development. By promoting activities that get them outside, you’re helping them reach multiple health milestones. Here are our four favourite health benefits for outdoor play:
No matter what activity they’re doing the likelihood is that being in an outdoor space gives them the freedom to move more. The non-static nature of this type of play keeps them continually moving or moving for long periods across the day helping to increase their physical fitness.
Stability and large muscle development
By being outside, your little one is doing larger movements and isn’t restricted by indoor things like walls and furniture. By not having things like door frames at intervals, your little one has to rely on their own physical abilities. This helps to strengthen their stability as well as keep them developing their large muscle development when doing things like walking, running, jumping, rolling and everything else they like to do!
Coordination, balance, strength
With being outside, your little one is using a variety of skills. Depending on the activity too, depends on how much they're developing and improving on these skills. The introduction of various activities and toys can help promote the healthy development of these skills. We love Balance Bike or the Mini Bike for gently encouraging little ones in the right direction to have fun but also be working on their key skills!
Check out our article: Mamatoyz: 8 Outdoor Activities for this spring for some ideas to continue helping to encourage your little one to enjoy being outdoors!
The no.1, best thing about being outdoors is the fresh air. Well, when we say fresh air, it really means just being outside for all the reasons we’ve listed. By encouraging children positively to be out in the fresh air, we’re having an impact on their health and wellbeing. There are numerous benefits to spending time outside that all promote a wholesome and healthy upbringing. The memories that are made and the enjoyment that is had all increase the motivation to want to continue being outdoors.
Not only do outdoor activities have a positive effect on our little one’s physical health but, it also has an impact on their wellbeing. They are often moving more releasing endorphins, being more interactive with other family members and being stimulated in a way that gives them more restful sleep at night. These benefits make a huge difference in a home and when everyone is having fun outdoors the household feels even more joyful! Other well-being benefits include:
- Unscheduled freedom
Unlike other activities, going outdoors doesn’t need to be planned. Therefore, when your little one is confident in being on their own, within eye distance of yourself, they can really let their imagination and creativity go wild. There's nothing more wonderful than seeing a child enjoying themselves and playing in their imaginary world. This unscheduled time brings them an unlimited amount of freedom to explore scenarios and thoughts that other times can’t bring them.
The outdoors offers freedom in sound as well. Your little one can sing to their heart’s content if they really want to. The most common reason that children are ‘loud’ is that they’re excited. So the noisier they can be the more they can express how they feel at that time. This is great for getting rid of any unwanted feelings as well as using that excited energy and finding an outlet to get rid of these things.
Self-confidence, independence and self-esteem
When outside, your little one will be getting the urge to explore. No matter what, their inquisitive mind will be wanting to be adventurous, whether that be to play with a toy or find out what's around the corner. This provides them with a place to build their self-confidence. In this exciting and positive place, they feel empowered to step out of their comfort zone which builds their independence. When they have positive results from this simply from enjoying being outside, they then learn that they are more than capable of doing these things, thus building their self-esteem.
Unless it's the Retro TV Blackboard being used outdoors, often the favourite result for parents is the reduction in screen time that their children get from exploring, playing and learning outdoors. Away from screens, children have more essential, committed and productive time to work on important skills. They also have more connected time to build on their communication skills whilst promoting a lifestyle that will be more active in the future and have better sleep.
Mamatoyz Top Tip:
If you’re looking to encourage your children outdoors but struggling for ideas, we love taking toys outdoors. Our followers have even taken the Sera Kitchen outdoors so a simple game of imaginary play can easily be transitioned into outdoor enjoyment.
We hope that we’ve given you all the reasons you need to motivate you and your little ones to get back outdoors and have the best time!