A wise man once said that when a person walks around a puddle instead of playing in it, that’s when he’s getting old. A child would jump into that very puddle with glee. That is the beauty of being a child. For a child, playing is a full-time job. And why shouldn’t it be! Playing is the state where there is an absolute absence of worries. Children are the happiest, fully alive and full of life when they are playing.
“For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.” ~ Penelope Leach
As a parent, it is essential to remember that for children playing is not a luxury. It is a basic need that is a prerequisite. They should be given the time and the liberty to play. Parents need to allow children to be children. However, in today’s digital age, we often find children playing on phones, tablets, and IPad’s instead of indulging in outdoor activities. Playing outdoors can have multiple benefits for children.
Let’s have a look at some of them:
Creativity All creativity involves play. Outdoor activities boost creativity in children. The outdoor surroundings fascinate children and lead to the stimulation of creativity in them. The outside surroundings give opportunities for endless exploration and discovery to children. Their creative skills are enhanced and it gives rise to curiousity in their inquisitive minds.
“To stimulate creativity one must develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition.” – Albert Einstein
With phones and tablets in hand, all children do is curl up on the sofa and play games on the device. There is no physical activity being done. This leads to accumulation of fat and eventually leads to obesity and a range of other health issues. By involving in outdoor activities, children move around, walk, run, and are way more active outside compared to when they are inside. This helps them burn extra calories. A hyperactive child’s extra energy can be optimally utilized by outdoor activities. Outdoor activities also lead to building strong bones and better fitness levels. A child sleeps better when he/she is tired. Outdoor activities lead to physical activity that can tire children out and help them sleep well.
Improved attention span and motor skills
Engaging in outdoor activities can improve the concentration and focus of children. Their attention span improves and their mental abilities develop immensely. Outdoor activities also lead to improved gross motor skills and fine motor skills helping improve their sharpness, agility, and coordination.
Freedom and independence
By playing outdoors, children feel a sense of freedom and independence. They don’t have their parents standing over their head. Sure, parents supervise their children, but they also let the child play the way he/she wants to as long as it isn’t hurting others.
They learn how to play with other children, begin interacting with them. They manage to find their way to their parents as well as how to play with things they haven’t played with before, thus making them self-reliant.
‘Shanti Juniors’ believes that play is the highest form of learning. We don’t just encourage our children to play, we teach them how to and help them play and watch them indulge in play that brings them immense joy. When our tiny tots have sand in their feet, hair messed up and eyes full of delight and sparkle, we know they’ve had fun.