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Outdoor Play and Child Development

Outdoor Play and Child Development

Participation in group activities provides opportunities for children to learn social interaction. While playing together, children learn to cooperate, stick to the rules, build friendships, respect others and gain confidence. Moreover, group activities help children to develop their language to express their thoughts and needs with peers in order to accomplish a task. Through group play, children will learn that they will not always get their way and sometimes have to reach a compromise and resolve conflicts.

Benefits of outdoor play concerning:

1- Physical health

Playing outdoors is the best option for children, so they can run, jump and play with objects freely. All these actions require motor skills that improve with practice. Children playing outside gain skills, such as pushing and pulling outdoor play equipment. Further, they burn more calories outdoors, helping to prevent obesity. Most importantly, playing in the sun provides their bodies with vitamin D, which strengthens muscles and bones.

2- Motor skills

When children play outdoors, they feel free to do things that are not allowed indoors. For instance, they are able to run quickly, climb tall structures or jump on a trampoline. So it makes sense to think that playing outdoors could help children develop their motor skills.

3- Learning

Getting outdoors to play is a valuable sensory experience for children. They have many things to see, explore and learn. The nature of the outdoors is stimulating and multi-sensory. Accordingly, children gain information through all their senses.



4- Emotional development

It is essential for children to understand their feelings and to express them. On the other hand, children should understand others’ feelings to develop healthy relationships. During outdoor activities, children take turns and share play equipment with peers, in this way, they learn how to respect others and control their emotions.

5- Confidence

Children are completely free outside. They have the chance to explore surroundings and engage in adventurous play. Children try tasks and activities and apply problem-solving strategies on their own. Hence, they gain increasing confidence in themselves.

6- Cooperation

Children work together to reach a common goal. They acquire listening and speaking skills while negotiating to reach an acceptable compromise to resolve conflicts.


Thus, children should spend more and more time outdoors, as exposure to outdoor play can help children improve their physical health. In fact, outdoor games can also shape a child’s personality. Further, outdoor games represent a wonderful method to help children develop their social skills and gain knowledge through all of their senses. Therefore, daycare centres should spare no effort to provide children with various outdoor play opportunities.

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