outdoor play benefits child development

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.

Physical Fitness

  • 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.


Mental Health

  • Helps reduce stress.
  • Positively impacts conditions such as anxiety and ADHD.


Intellectual Development

  • 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.


Social Development

  • 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