Why Outdoor Play Is so Important: An Overview for Students in Early Childcare Assistant TrainingMay 18, 2018
Outdoor Activities Help Children Exercise Their Bodies and Minds
In 2017, 30 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 in Canada were either overweight or obese. This is possible in part because of a growing addiction to television, gaming, and the Internet, giving children less of a reason to leave the house. Outdoor activities could be a solution to this problem because they offer a fun and engaging way for children to get exercise. Nature walks, playing in the park, and other outdoor activities help kids get the exercise they need to stay healthy. In addition, outdoor play also helps to stimulate imaginations at the same time.
A child’s imagination needs nurturing. Outdoor play can help!
When children make believe, they’re exercising their creativity and ingenuity while developing their cognitive abilities; it’s a great way for children to socialize, and a joy to observe.
Interacting with nature can also be a good way for children to build math skills. Graduates of ECA courses can help children count rocks or other items to help them understand quantities. Singing and playing games like tag and Red Rover can also help children improve their language and communication skills while also getting exercise.
Grads of ECA Courses See Outdoor Play as an Opportunity to Build a Child’s Self-Esteem
Fear can sometimes play a role in discouraging children from playing outside. However, while fears concerning safety are important and worth addressing, preventing a child from playing outside may have a negative impact on their self-esteem. Healthy competitions like foot races and swimming matches are positive ways for children to push themselves and their peers, and to gain confidence in their abilities.
Students in a child care assistant course know to be mindful of safety. At the same time, allowing kids to take small risks while under proper supervision could lead to huge accomplishments. Through trial and error, they can overcome obstacles in nature and cultivate their ability to solve problems, as well as develop a trust in themselves and their skills.
Through Outdoor Play Children Can Learn the Value of Teamwork
Learning how to work effectively as part of a team is crucial to a child’s academic and personal future. It’s important for them to be able to communicate their ideas clearly, catch non-verbal cues, and know how to contribute to a common goal. Outdoor games are an entertaining way for children to understand the basics of being part of a team, and to experience the thrill of a group victory.
Outdoor play helps children grow together
Whether through team sports or building snow forts during the winter, children can learn to trust in their friends and their abilities. A child can also understand their own value as being part of a team, recognizing that the contributions they are making are meaningful. Bringing all these benefits to bear on a child’s development is why outdoor activities are so important now, more than ever. By helping the kids under your care engage with nature in a safe and constructive way, you can help them grow and learn!
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