There are so many benefits of exploring and playing in an outside environment; outside spaces never stay the same so each time you and your child venture outside there is the potential for a completely different experience!
Being in an outdoor environment has be shown to have a positive impact on children's wellbeing. Attributes such as resilience, self esteem and confidence are all promoted through outdoor play which all have a positive impact on children's sense of overall wellbeing. Children often feel freer in outdoor spaces and more at ease with themselves. Studies show that people's levels of the stress hormone cortisol are lower when in an outdoor environment.
Children ask more questions outdoors than they do indoors. The environment is constantly changing giving more opportunities to introduce and use a wider range of vocabulary and provoke more interesting conversations.
There are more opportunities for children to learn to manage risks safely and allow children to develop resilience. The surfaces change in poorer weather which allow children to develop their motor skills such as the ability to balance and manoeuvre around objects either on foot or on a piece of equipment. It also develops coordination and their reaction time.
The social dynamics of being outside are different to those inside so allow children to explore and develop relationships in different ways; often children show more confidence with their peers while outside.
Children who are walking need to have at least 3 hours a day of rigorous physical exercise to support typical development. Outdoor spaces provide opportunities for children to engage in different types of physical experiences such as rolling, climbing, balancing, running and crawling. These experiences support children's development in a variety of ways including developing skills such as balance and spatial awareness. Children need to be able to explore and experience making large gross motor movements with their whole bodies before they can develop the skills needed for making fine motor movements – for children to be able to sit and hold a pencil, they must have had plentiful and varied opportunities for using their arms in large movements such as crawling, swinging and climbing.
Very young children learn predominately through their sensory and physical experiences which supports brain development and the creation of neural networks. These experiences are available in abundance in outdoor spaces!
Connecting with nature
The outdoors provides children with the opportunity to step out and connect with nature. Children will have the opportunity to gain first hand experiences of different types of weather, understand the seasons and observe living things such as trees, plants and animals. These experiences provide a great foundation for scientific learning.
Every single day children go outside the environment will be different to the day before; every day new and exciting opportunities for discovery!
Log onto your UP app to find a wide variety of outdoor experiences!
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