It will likely come as no surprise that children today spend more time than ever inside. Active play has been left aside for watching television, playing video games, reading or using electronics such as tablets, laptops, and phones. After being locked down for months, children are more involved in sedentary activities rather than active play outside. This can have some ill effects on their physical and mental health.

 

A child's physical well-being is aided by spending more time outdoors, and their emotional and intellectual health are also improved when they spend time away from technology. No matter where they go, playing outdoor games, moving around, and spending time in the sun are sure to be beneficial to their health, whether it's playing on a playground or a walk in the woods.

Click here to learn more about our outdoor classrooms

 

Why Should Children Play Outside?

Throughout early childhood and into the school years, outdoor play has many benefits for children's development. Playing outside is great for developing physical strength, maintaining a healthy weight, and being able to recover more effectively from illness.

 

The more time spent outdoors in childhood, the more likely they are to continue healthy exercise as they grow older. Children who are encouraged to play outside develop a positive attitude toward maintaining an active lifestyle as adults.

 

school children on climbing net

 

 

The Benefits of Playing in the Rain

No need to coop kids up for wet play! When children have a strong immune system developed from outdoor play, they will be protected from colds and sniffles regardless of weather. Why not put on some wellies and head outside to play in the rain? 

 

Children of all ages can enjoy playing outside in the rain and splashing in puddles. It’s important to explore this for their growth, well-being, and sense of adventure.

 

It helps to stimulate a child’s immune system, create healthy sleep patterns, and encourages creative thinking and fundamental movement skills. A rainy play session stimulates the brain by exposing children to sights, sounds, smells, and textures they would not otherwise experience.

 

Children will love the novelty of using their favourite bath toys outside as they explore when playing in rain puddles. 

 

Should Children Play Outdoors in Winter?

 

Fresh winter air is immune boosting

Cold weather does not always cause a cold, contrary to popular belief! It’s actually beneficial to breathe fresh air in the winter, provided children are properly wrapped up warm. 

 

In crowded indoor environments, especially when it is overheated and poorly ventilated, germs are easily circulated and spread. This is why it is so important to play outdoors. 

 

The fresh air not only allows children to breathe healthy air and prevents infection-causing bacteria, but it also refreshes their minds, burns energy, and sets them up for a lifetime of exercise.

 

Outdoor play provides better exercise

Exercise is essential to children's development and well-being. If they do not exercise enough, excess energy can hinder their sleep cycle and affect their appetite, which in turn affects how they develop and maintain a healthy weight. 

 

small girl climbing with rope

Despite the fact that exercise and activity generally promote a healthy lifestyle, winter exercise, in particular, provides the most opportunity for muscle growth, strength and gross-motor development. The cold provides different textures and surfaces underfoot, new sensations and visuals around us. All of this combines to provide a very challenging environment! 

 

The winter season, particularly snow, provides us with opportunities for various forms of physical activity that develop us in several ways, whether it's just a winter walk or shovelling snow, sledging or building a snowman.

 

 

Winter play aids development

While outdoor play offers opportunities for learning and development, some of them only appear in the cold. On snow days, because of the ice and snow covering outdoor equipment, children must find alternative ways to keep their imaginations alive.

 

In this brand new, slippery, riskier play environment, they learn valuable life lessons and develop crucial skills as they face physical and cognitive challenges. Even we adults can have trouble staying stable on ice!

 

 

The importance of Vitamin D for children

Despite the fact that we might not think there is enough sun in the winter months to provide us with a suitable amount of Vitamin D, you'll be surprised by how much we need. 

 

It is even more important to give children sunshine exposure so that they can absorb calcium, have strong bones, and avoid bone deformities including rickets. Playing outside in the winter is great for little ones since sunlight and Vitamin D have an impact on mood throughout the day.

 

 

Encouraging All-Weather Outdoor Play with dbdplay

A purpose-built outdoor play area will enable children to have daily access to outdoor play no matter what the weather is. While you may choose a structure equipped with covered and sheltered areas that can allow children to enjoy the outdoors, it does not mean that the outdoors are inaccessible just because of bad weather. 

 

At dbdplay, we create playgrounds that are exciting and fun for children, allowing them to experience the thrill of play in their outdoor spaces once again. As a top manufacturer of safety and innovation products, we are proud to be able to make products that are an integral part of children's development.

 

To learn more about our products and services, or to request a free quote, don’t hesitate to visit our website. Working with our designers will help you create a playground that sparks a love of outdoor play come rain or shine.

New call-to-action

 

 

 

Originally published Feb 18, 2022 1:42:46 PM , updated April 26, 2022

Topics:

nursery ks1 sen eyfs