The Benefits of Playing Outside for Kids
It’s one of the joys of childhood, running around aimlessly outside with family or friends. Nowadays, it can seem more challenging to get that time outside, but whether it’s sports, playing catch or anything else, having that time is vital!
In our blog, we’ve already covered the many ways being surrounded by nature is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. The importance of being outside is even more so for growing minds! Here, we look at how playing outside can benefit your children.
Heightened Sensory Learning
At a young age, many children are still learning how to interact with the world around them. While we don’t realise it as adults, we’re constantly engaging all of our senses to understand our surroundings, and these skills have to be learned.
Being stuck indoors can limit the growth of your senses as they are not as rigorously tested, particularly if you are watching screens. Spending more time playing outside encourages young minds to engage with their world in more ways, whether that’s through touch, smell, sound or sight.
By engaging more of their senses, it has been shown that children who spend more time outside become more inquisitive. As they encounter new things, they will want to understand more and will ask questions, aiding in their education.
Social Time With the Family
Spending time together can feel straightforward if everyone is at home, but it’s that quality time that counts. Sat around a dinner table is one thing, but being active in the wider world allows for a deeper social connection which can be just as important for adults as it is for children!
Playing outside provides the perfect excuse to have meaningful connections with the ones we love. These conversations offer not only emotional relief to children and us, but also help young ones develop their social skills, which are increasingly important in the modern world!
Various studies have shown how spending more time outside can boost your creativity and focus. There has also been plenty of research into nature’s effect on young minds, and the consensus is that the impact is the same. Children who spend more time outside have better attention spans!
There are many reasons why children who spend their time outside have more focus. Part of it links back into the increased sensory activity and improved inquisitiveness. The increased activity that comes with being outside also leads children to become more self-directed, which can also lead to improved focus.
It almost goes without saying, but children that spend more time outside tend to have better health. By going on walks, playing at the park or enjoying sports, youngsters are getting considerably more exercise than those who would have been stuck indoors. Children who spend time outside and begin to understand their bodies will also be more inclined to eat healthily.
Health is more than physical, however. Beyond the benefits to the body, being outside also helps children get vitamin D, while it also provides mental health benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety.
More Stable Sleep
Perhaps the most underappreciated advantage of spending time outside is how it improves our sleep. Various studies have shown that those who spend more time outside, exercising or otherwise, have better sleep patterns.
Our sleep is impacted by a multitude of things, all of which are positively affected by being outdoors. Firstly, children playing outside are burning off more energy, which can lead to better sleep. Secondly, our sleep patterns are dictated by our exposure to natural light – the more you get, the more regulated your pattern and the easier you’ll fall asleep.
The outside world comes with a whole host of advantages, no matter what your age. For children, spending more time surrounded by nature can build a healthy body and mind which can help them to grow.
If you want to experience more of the natural world, why not check out our range of mens and ladies outdoor boots, perfect for your next adventure!