Even though spring is a ways away, it’s important that your child continues to play outside. It’s no secret that exercise is important regardless of the time of year, and playing outside is a great way for your child to burn off excess energy and have fun. It allows them to develop their muscles and bones, improves their immune system, and gives them a better appreciation for the world around them.
However, you may not know that playing outside can make your child smarter, too. There are several intellectual benefits of outdoor play for your child:
- Developing their brain. When your child plays outside, they are inventing games and using their imagination. They are also independently exploring their surroundings, cultivating their organizational abilities, and practicing decision-making skills. As your child plays, they also learn more about the importance of creating and following rules.
- Improving communication skills. When your child plays at a park or playground, or even during recess at school, they have opportunities to meet other children and build friendships with them. Especially outside of school, they have the chance to meet other children who are at different ages, developmental levels, and are from different backgrounds.
- Expanding their learning space. Providing educational toys and materials outdoors gives your child a chance to learn new information and skills by interacting with them. It also shows your child they can learn anywhere, not just in classrooms and other indoor learning spaces.
With the increase in their screen time likely as a result of remote and online learning, taking time to be “unplugged” is important to structure into their daily life. Even if it feels cold outside, having your child spend time outdoors can be just as important as doing their homework or going to school. Despite the weather, playing outside can be fun for you, too, so don’t hesitate to join them!1