kids playing on outdoor play equipment

Play Away! The Many Benefits to Outdoor Play for Kids

Outdoor play is a big part of healthy growth, learning, development and well-being for your child.

Children feel an exhilarating freedom of playing outdoors where they can jump, swim, ran, climb and exercise their imaginations – all of which aren’t always possible indoors. But there’s more to outdoor play than just letting loose. Outdoors provides endless learning opportunities for your child, building his or her physical and social skills and sharpening their cognitive abilities through observation, exploration, and experimentation.

When kids are in the playground, they take in their environment through their senses. They learn about taking turns, about sharing, about engaging in imaginative play with other children, and about making decisions, like how high to climb. In this way, their motor skills are developed and they learn eye-hand coordination.

Here are a few ideas that will help you create a rich outdoor learning environment right in your own backyard...

Explore sand and water

Children love the experimental fun! Place large plastic bins that are great for creating a sand-and-water area, then place funnels and hand held egg beaters which will serve as interesting water toys. Add spoons, scoops, small plastic containers, strainers, and colanders that will make awesome sand toys. Also, place plastic animals or small vehicles to encourage pretend play, or wet the sand to inspire sculpting and building.

Take art projects outside

Bring your child's art supplies such as paper, glue, and a portable watercolour paint set to a nearby park. They can paint a variety of found objects or make a collage out of sticks, leaves, and even seeds. Finger painting is a wonderful art activity while clay and play dough are quite portable, too.

Create an outdoor seating area

Outdoor furniture provides can be a stage for imaginative play. Set some plastic chairs and tables and plates, trays, and cups, and your kids can have an instant tea party.

Set up tents or make a playhouse

Tents, forts, and playhouses can enhance pretend play and protect your children from the sun. You can create a simple playhouse that will inspire your child's imagination. Serve snacks there, and bring some books along for story time.

Plant a small garden

This project builds observation and prediction skills at the same time fostering an appreciation of nature. You can plant in your own yard or look into joining a community garden, or simply plant in pots.

Put up a bird feeder

Children love watching and caring for the birds. Try to make your own bird feeder. You will need string or yarn, pine cones, peanut butter, a plastic knife, a plate, and birdseed. Tie the string around the pinecone, spread peanut butter on it, and roll the pinecone on a plate of birdseed. Hang the pinecone from a tree branch.

Keep in mind to protect your child and yourself from the sun when outdoors so try to plan outdoor times for early in the morning or in the late afternoon. Always use sunscreen, protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses and be sure to stay safe around water.

So are you considering what particular toys to buy or outdoor games to play with your child? Contact us or you may also check out our Kids Car Sales website, we have thousands of other toys suitable for your little guy or gal.


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