Gone are the days of playing outside, as we see children spend more of their time indoors with their eyes glued to a screen! Early learning through outside play is very important for preschool children, as it allows them to explore the outdoors, develop physical skills, and gain knowledge about themselves and their environment through interacting with the world around them.
What Activities Involve Outside Play?
Outside play involves a wide range of games and activities that encourage development and healthy exercise within a fun and informal environment. These activities can be tailored to suit the child’s age and development. Here are some examples of outside play activities for young children:
- Playing In A Sand-Pit
- Playing At A Playground (using swings, slides, see-saws, and jungle gyms!)
- Participating In An Obstacle Course
- Tossing A Ball
- Riding a tricycle
- Pretend Play
- Interacting Games Such As Hide and Seek
- Helping Parents With Daily Chores, Such As Learning To Sweep A Floor Or Fold Laundry
What Do Children Gain Through Outside Play?
Young children (from babies to preschoolers) have not yet fully developed their sensory and motor skills, and so they learn about the world, while developing these skills, through body movement, touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing. Why is a feather soft? How high can I swing? Why do bees sting? Why owls only come out at night? Why does rain fall from clouds? Outside play not only offers basic knowledge about the world, it also enables children to gain sensorimotor skills, gross and fine motor movement, balance, co-ordination and muscle tone. As children begin to play with one-another, they will also gain social skills through interactive and pretend play. Playing new games will give them the opportunity to challenge themselves and increase their self-confidence by testing their limits and learning their strengths.
Why Is There An Increased Emphasis On The Importance Of Outside Play?
Due to the current lifestyle of society, children are often confined to excessive TV and computer use, as well as other technological devices. Educational programs have noticeably increased to an extent that is developmentally inappropriate for young children, taking them away from their much-needed play time! Busy parents also do not have time to take their children to the park, and so children end up staying indoors and becoming inactive, keeping their eyes glued to the TV screen. Low muscle tone, underdeveloped skills and the prevalence of obesity in young children has increased due to the rise of technology, and studies have shown that the more children play outside, the more likely they are to be active within their home settings! The reduces the likelihood of having these problems of obesity, low muscle tone and underdeveloped sensorimotor skills. Basically, children need time to be children, and outside play gives them this opportunity
How Can You Ensure That Your Child Will Engage In Out-Door Play?
Parkland Children’s Academy acknowledges the importance of outside play, and offers an educational program that will allow young children to grow in all areas of their development; including social, emotional, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills, and language through a stimulating and nurturing environment. Our philosophy is that children learn best through play! What better way to earn than though play.