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The Importance of Outdoor Activities for Child Development

The Importance of Outdoor Activities for Child Development | ITTT | TEFL Blog

I choose this task because I’m a mother of two children and raising them in a modern world like ours is not easy. Playing is an important element in child development, but when I say play and don’t mean to stay in the house with video games in their hands I mean playing outside with other kids, interacting and socializing with others.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Anca A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

Physical Benefits

Outdoor activities have a much bigger impact on kids. For example, burning calories, avoid obesity while they can have a lot of fun. Through play, children can gain an increased range of emotions as well as coordination. They also derive many positive emotions from playing and this helps to boost their immunity while at the same time reducing fatigue and depression.

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Social Benefits

Children can become more sociable when they interact with their playmates and different toys. They can also learn how to socialize in different situations and use diverse emotions. When exposed to play, children can easily learn how to make decisions and master important skills and this helps them later to develop confidence and be proud of themselves.

Children need lots of opportunities outside to develop basic social skills and social competencies like pushing each other on the swing, pulling a wagon carrying another child, playing together in the sand, and so on. Physical play, the constructive play also involve social play, especially if the equipment encourages the engagement of more than one child. Projects such as gardening, observing the weather in a separate science area, and having a picnic can be and should be social activities.

esl kids outside

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Natural Curiosity

I think that allowing children to be children is very important.

Children need the opportunity to explore the unknown, the unpredictable, and the adventurous. They also need to be able to wonder at nature, from the worm gliding through the newly turned dirt in the garden to the monarch butterfly emerging out of the chrysalis and gracefully fluttering away in the summer breeze. Being outside in all weather and every season gives children the chance to experience ice and snow, sunshine and wind, the changing color of the leaves in autumn and the appearance of green shoots in spring.

When children play, they use and learn language naturally. Words such as sieve, funnel, surface, whip, pour, flow and strain add to the young child’s vocabulary and allow them to express themselves more clearly.

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New Era

Sadly, our culture is taking outdoor play away from young children through excessive TV and computer use, unsafe neighborhoods, busy and tired parents, educational accountability, elimination of school recess, and academic standards that push more and more developmentally inappropriate academics into our early childhood programs, thus taking time away from the play.

Children love to play. It is not only fun but also essential for growth and development. Play should not be restricted to indoors only. Outdoor play is equally important and an inevitable part of a child’s life.

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Playing outdoors should be a vital part of every kid’s growing up years. It is a wonderful way to learn various life skills, a great chance for kids to flourish, run, jump, make a mess, explore themself in natural surroundings. Therefore, parents need to play a conscious and proactive role in developing a positive outlook on outdoor games among kids.

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