Why is outdoor play an integral part of young children’s development
Playing outside provides opportunities for young children to experience the world with all of their senses. Young children learn through the type of place or environment they are in. In outdoor spaces children can shout or be noisy, use their imagination in different ways, being more creative, messier and trying out different activities.
Research tell us that the experiences children have through quality outdoor play has a great influence and effect on the growth of their brain and creates strong foundations for future development in all areas.
Playing freely outdoors helps children with the development of social skills, spatial awareness, cooperation, communication and sensory awareness. Outdoor play can also assist children to learn about decision making, develop their ability to share, develop conceptual ability, learn about their body and their ability as well as become more independent and address their fears. Setting too many limits to children’s adventurous play and not providing substantial amount of time outside could impede children’s creativity, self-confidence, social skills and ability to concentrate.
Children need to be provided with opportunities to try out new things. This may involve children getting dirty, wet, or falling over, these experiences help to build children’s confidence and are an important part of learning about skills and limitations. Everyday life involves a certain degree of risk and children need to learn how to cope with this from an early age. Children need to learn how to take calculated risk. In order for this to happen children need to be provided with challenges and adventurous play and to move freely.
What types of outdoor play can benefit young children.
Playing with sand from a young age can help with your child’s hand eye coordination. It can also teach early muscle movement. By using tools to manipulate the sand and create structures it helps develop the creative aspect of your child’s brain.
Sand is a truly unique substance and there is an endless possibility of creation with it. Creating patterns and structures from the sand will get the creative side of their brain working. The more they play the more they expand creative artistic skills. At Playways we can build covered sandboxes into many of our play houses and climbing frames.
Climbing is a great way to improve stamina as well as strengthening the core muscles across different muscle groups. For young children, climbing can be a crucial way of improving motor skills and basic movement. It also promotes flexibility and coordination.
It is not just the physical aspect of climbing which is beneficial, given the layout of different climbs, problem solving is also a key part of learning to be a good climber. Completing a climb is also a massive confidence booster.
At Playways we offer lots of different ways to climb, from climbing walls, to monkey bars, to ramp and ropes to scramble nets. An outdoor playhouse gives children a place of their own and opens the door to a variety of activities. They can play and have fun using their own kitchen or living room space. They will find the opportunity to be creative and develop their imaginative. It could be the children’s home, a classroom, a doctors surgery, a fire station, a princess palace, a police station, a railway station or even a medieval fort to name a few. At Playways we design and hand build all of our playhouses and climbing frames and can make sure that your play house has your personal touch. From cottages to castles, our only limitations are our imaginations.