The importance of outdoor play

According to experts, kids should spend at least 3 hours outside every day, resulting in random and unstructured play. While I completely agree that this does seem like a massive task for parents today given our busy schedules, the intense heat in summers (Hello Pakistan and Dubai), kids’ addiction to screens and a multitude of other reasons, we should still try our best to achieve it as much as possible. Just some of the benefits of outdoor play are highlighted below, and I am sure there are many many more

  • It enhances learning, self-development, and creativity. When kids are not provided ready-made solutions with colorful toys or singing videos, they are bound to discover things for themselves and come up with unique games. Minimal resources such as sticks, stones, sands, snow, water, often make up for the most imaginative games and exciting adventures
  • Fresh air and the natural environment is excellent for the health and well-being of kids
  • It results in the development of excellent motor skills for little ones and muscle development of older kids. Holding the sand, playing with water, climbing trees, running on grass and cycling all builds up their bodies and minds in ways that toys cannot
  • It teaches them greater confidence and independence, allowing them to engage in skills such as teamwork, negotiation, trouble-shooting, multitasking and communication (isn’t it ironic how screen-time results in the EXACT opposite of this :p)
  • They learn to explore, take risks and ‘toughen up,’ characters which are entirely lacking in adults today as well J
  • It may also result in an overall positive attitude and improved attention span, as kids are forced to make the most of their surroundings and focus longer on the tasks at hand

So what are we waiting for, let the outdoor games begin!