The Importance Outdoor Play for Kids

In these times where we are inside more often than not, the children are beginning to find it harder and harder to burn off their energy. Benjamin (5) is finding being stuck inside most difficult. One thing they are missing a lot, aside from actually being at school with their friends, is the play equipment. I think the children rely on play much more than we realise in their school day and after a week of home schooling, I think I need to remember this a bit more. The importance of outdoor play for kids shouldn’t be underestimated.

My two are very lucky in the fact that their school playground equipment is divided into two different sets, which they can use at break and lunch as well as during Golden Time. Both the children love exploring what they can do on the climbing frames and it certainly helps them to develop their balance and core strength. Not only this, but they do actually learn a lot through their play. Learning how their bodies move and also using the equipment for imaginative play is so worthwhile in education.

Play Equipment

We love playing on outdoor play equipment so much that we usually head on down to the local parks for fun on the equipment on a weekend too. Isabella and Benjamin especially love going to ‘Nana’s Park’ because there’s lots of fun things to explore and enjoy.

However, being stuck indoors and with all the local playgrounds closed, we’ve been thinking up different ways to enjoy the outdoors. This week especially I’ve been much more aware of the need to get the children active and inspired. We’ve been going on woodland walks and the children climb fallen trees. Practising balancing on different tree trunks is fun and the children love to see how high they can climb.

Make the most of your garden

We are also lucky enough to have a swing set in the garden. We bought this for Isabella as a 1st Birthday present. It has moved with us to our new house and is on its 6th summer. It’s starting to show its age now though so we are contemplating other climbing frames for next year. Both children love the monkey bars so we were going to look at getting a frame with space for monkey bars, a climbing wall and of course a couple of swings too! Although we currently have a frame with a slide, the children aren’t as fussed with the slide so we might look at other options!

 

Other things we’ve been doing in the garden to burn off our energy is making up different obstacle courses. We have had to use what we have in the garden for this so although not perfect, it’s been a fun and collaborative task to focus on as a team. What I’ve loved about this task is how the children have used their imagination to decide how a piece of equipment should be used. They love to learn through exploring and trying new things. Sitting back and watching them learn is such a valuable tool.

Do you have any other ideas of making use of outdoor spaces for children to play?

If you’ve enjoyed this, why not see what Emma has been writing about Play Ideas for 2 Year Olds.

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