Benefits of Outdoor Play
Here at Allowah, we love providing opportunities for kids with disabilities to explore their world. Outdoor play is one of the best ways to do this. Playing outdoors builds physical, intellectual and social confidence and encourages children to learn more about themselves and the world they live in. Allowah is convinced that outdoor play is essential for children with disabilities.
Outdoor play provides great opportunities for children with disabilities to increase their physical skills and fitness levels. Free play outdoors means that kids learn new ways to use their bodies – touching, moving and reacting to their environment. Physical challenges will present themselves in a safe, fun, space and children will learn how to overcome them. Outdoor play can strengthen muscles and increase physical fitness as children navigate their world. Resilience is built as they make physical mistakes and learn how to recover. Better fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are expected outcomes of encouraging outdoor play. Also, lots of children with severe disabilities spend a lot of time indoors and can suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Outdoor play means being out in the sunshine which is yet another physical benefit.
Exploring the physical world is a great way to increase a child’s intellectual understanding. Experiencing a range of weather, smells, textures and colours help build a holistic world view and self-perception. Spending unstructured time outdoors provides opportunities for children to grow and develop. As they control objects in their environment by building, pushing or throwing, they naturally learn about the way things work and their relationship to the things around them. Language and communication skills are fostered through outdoor play as children express what they are doing and how they are feeling.
Social and Emotional
Outdoor plays provides additional opportunities for socialisation. Imaginative and unstructured play allows children to learn how to share, communicate with others and be comfortable in the company of peers and strangers. Being outdoors is good for overall emotional health as well. Nature can be calming and restorative. Outdoor time is also said to increase attention spans and help reduce stress and anxiety.
Outdoor play is important for so many reasons. It increases a child’s confidence; physically, intellectually, socially and emotionally. Spending times outdoors encourages creativity, imagination and positivity – bringing fun to everyday life at Allowah.