Four Benefits of Outdoor Play
Updated: Nov 19, 2018
At Dragonfly’s Early Learning Centre, we believe in getting back to basics and striking a healthy balance between technology and screens and getting outside and into the garden. Read about why outdoor play is so important for child development.
Importance of Outdoor Play for Child Development
Physical Activity and Play
Children are naturally drawn to the outdoors, and outside play is an excellent way for them to test their physical abilities. Running, jumping and other aerobic activity assists in the development of gross and fine motor skills, coordination and fitness. The national physical activity recommendations for children younger than five years include supervised floor-based play from birth, and at least three hours of activity everyday past one year of age.
At Dragonfly’s Early Learning Centre, we have three large, beautiful outdoor areas filled with gardens. With a covered verandah area, children at our centre enjoy outdoor play regardless of rain. Our Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program also serves to engage children in outdoor play.
At Dragonfly’s, we believe that outdoor play helps build a love and respect for nature. Being outdoors helps your child connect with the world around them. The children at our centre learn about nature outdoors each day, with conversations about the environment occurring naturally as they explore the gardens. When vegetables and herbs began to go missing from our garden, we discussed what kinds of insects and animals might have eaten them. Then, the children assisted in constructing a net to protect the produce from further damage.
Experiencing outdoor play helps your child to build confidence. Children learn to take risks and explore their abilities. Children run, jump, climb and test out a variety of new textures outdoors.
At Dragonfly’s, we provide a stimulating place where children are engaged in interactive and exploratory opportunities using a rich variety of sensory materials such as mud, sand, sticks, flowers and leaves. This allows children to quickly become confident in all environments.
Imagination and Cognitive Development
Playing outdoors creates an opportunity for children to use their imagination. Outdoors, children spend time enjoying unstructured play. They get a chance to use creative thinking and make up exciting games – with imagination a stick becomes a magic wand!
Using imagination and creative thinking is highly important for your child’s development. Research shows that children who have a creative outlet develop language and social skills more quickly.
At Dragonfly’s Early Learning Centre, we believe in getting back to basics and building a warm, nurturing and natural place where children feel valued and supported. Out beautiful outdoor spaces assist children in developing physically, socially and cognitively. Contact us today to learn more about our program!