The American Academy of Pediatrics says lots of unstructured outdoor play is critical to the health of children. That’s because outdoor play benefits children in every domain of their development.
- Gives children the opportunity to run, jump, climb, swim, dance, and more, all of which provide aerobic exercise and strength training.
- Strengthens the immune system and improves vitamin D levels which can provide protection from osteoporosis, heart disease, and diabetes.
- Helps reduce stress.
- Positively impacts conditions such as anxiety and ADHD.
- Enhances readiness for learning, easing the transition to a school setting.
- Leads to better focus in the classroom.
- Encourages learning and problem-solving skills, and promotes creativity.
- Gives children opportunities to learn how to work in groups, including learning how to share, how to negotiate, and how to resolve conflicts.
- Promotes self-confidence, resiliency, and self-advocacy, which help children develop healthy relationships and become leaders.
Adapted from Hello Motherhood