It turns out that outdoor play does not just have physical benefits for children; the perks extend to their mental health as well. Most parents believe that play is simply a luxury: after solving the math homework, reviewing history lessons, and memorising the scientific names of plants and animals, then and only then, can children go out and play. Recent studies, however, say that outdoor play gives mental health a boost, which is why it should not be just an option, but rather, a necessity.
Here are just some of the ways outdoor play can help your child be smarter:
Indoors, there is just a limited range of things kids can do. But outdoors, kids have more choices for creative play. Playground design experts from Moduplay.com.au say that outdoor play creates the perfect environment for stimulating imagination. Kids figure out the world on their own. They explore. They draw inspiration from nature and engage in pretend-play. These all contribute to increased creativity.
Develops Problem-Solving Skills
Kids are able to improve problem-solving skills by playing outdoors. For instance, when crossing monkey bars, they have to figure out the best way to get across. Maybe your community has a playground that features mazes. These environments also help promote problem solving in a fun, not forced way.
Expands their Knowledge
It is not enough for kids to know what cumulonimbus clouds are. The learning experience takes a whole new level when they see it for themselves. When they see a dark cloud in the sky or the flower’s petals, they will instantly remember the science lessons they discussed in school. With that, they come to realize that these lessons are for real; they do not just exist in textbooks. In a way, outdoor play validates what they know and further expands this knowledge.
Outdoor play should not be just a choice; kids need it. Next time your child asks to play outside, smile (do not think about the undone math homework) and let them.