By Happy Hearts
One thing that we love here at Happy Hearts is nature play, and you might be surprised at just how much of an impact that it can have on your child’s development. Here’s some of the top reasons why playing outside is so important:
Social skills: When children play outside together they create their own games, rules and expectations, as well as discussing, planning, compromising and organising. Turn-taking, conflict resolution, leadership and teamwork are also practised, which are important skills for your child to learn early on.
Confidence: Outdoor play provides opportunity for children to weigh up their options and assess risks. You’ll see the joy on their face when they get it right, and the determination to try again if things don’t go to plan. All of this helps build self confidence.
Health: Your body loves being outside and getting Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and development. Children who play outside more have less chance of developing some eyesight problems and can concentrate better on tasks. Safe sun exposure and physical activity also helps to regulate sleep patterns.
Coordination: Climbing, running, swinging, ducking and throwing are all ways to develop balance and coordination and gross motor skills. Collecting rocks, weaving grass, and building supports spatial awareness, problem solving and fine motor skills.
Life skills.: Children who spend more time outside in unstructured play often do better in class because they have improved concentration and a sense of curiosity and creativity. Playing outdoors also reduces stress, increases overall happiness and can lead to better health and a greater appreciation of the environment in adult life.