Benefits of Being Outside

benefits of being outside

Being outside offers numerous benefits for children, not only to have fun, but ones crucial for their physical, cognitive, and social development. Engaging children in the outside world opens a unique and stimulating environment for them to explore, grow, and learn. There is an endless number of activities to provide your children to help them explore their interests, develop essential skills, and enjoy the wonders of the natural world.

What Outside Activities have Benefits for Development?

Here are a variety of outdoor activities to promote developmental skills while also ensuring your children have a wonderful time.

  • One activity to promote emotional development is nature walks. Walks are a great way to introduce children to the natural world. This helps foster curiosity and emotional connections with the environment. These walks can be turned into scavenger hunts by creating a list of items to find. This also engages their critical thinking and visual scanning skills.
  • One activity to develop fine motor skills is with outdoor crafts. Different materials to explore the outdoors could include: sidewalk chalk for drawing, painting with water on rocks/sticks, and leaves for stringing. These skills can all help develop hand-eye coordination, grasp patterns, and hand strength.
  • The outdoors provides endless opportunities for cognitive development by engaging in sensory experiences. Outside is a great place to engage in sensory play because children can be messy without worrying about the mess to clean up after. Setting up a sensory bin outside with natural materials like water, sand, rocks, mud, leaves, grass can be a wonderful way to stimulate their senses. Engaging in messy play activities with various textured items help to develop sensory processing skills.
  • Outdoor play can also be a great way to teach children self-regulation. Different activities to promote these skills include following the rules of simple outdoor game, taking turns on various play equipment (swing, slide, monkey bars, etc.), or managing emotions during a game of hide and seek.

More Outdoor Activity Ideas

Here is a list of more outdoor activities. These are simple, fun, and engaging that can be set up quickly with minimal equipment:

  1. Leaf collecting: gather different leaves and talk about their shapes and colors.
  2. Stick races: drop sticks in a stream or river and watch which one moves faster.
  3. Garden helper: allow children to help with watering plants or digging in a small patch of soil.
  4. Animal walks: encourage toddlers to imitate different animal walks like hopping like a frog or crawling like a bear.
  5. Cloud watching: lie on your back and identify shapes or animals in the clouds.
  6. Sandbox treasure hunt: hide toys in a sandbox for toddlers to find.
  7. Color hunt: assign a color to children and have them find objects of that color outside.
  8. Paper plane launch: make simple paper planes and see how far they can fly.
  9. Follow the leader: lead children on a fun route around the yard or park.
  10. Hopscotch: draw a simple hopscotch with chalk for jumping in with circles or squares.

The outside offers incredible benefits to assist children with their development that extends beyond just their physical health. These activities allow children to explore their interests, develop essential skills, and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. Whether its through sensory play, physical activities, or creative crafts, the great outdoors is a perfect place to bring joy to your children have a great time while also laying a solid foundation of their overall development. For more activity ideas and resources visit this website: 60 Summer Outdoor Activities for Kids.