The Benefits of Outdoor Play for Children
Over the past year, families across the UK have found a new appreciation for the great outdoors. Venturing outside, be it simply into our gardens or to our local parks, has been pure bliss after nationwide lockdowns.
With hope on the horizon for the warmer seasons, let’s continue the outdoor appreciation, after all, there are countless benefits of outdoor play for children!
Open air play dates, den building in the garden, fun and frolics on the beach, and woodland adventures, there are endless opportunities to get your children involved in outdoor play. Here you can find ideas for playing outside with our kids’ garden toys, as well as learn about the benefits of outdoor play.
FIVE BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR PLAY
We believe fresh air is the best recipe for bright eyes and rosy cheeks. Hands-on, creative play outdoors has so many benefits, including:
1. Physical and mental well-being – Outdoor play enables children to run free, burn off energy and calories, and soak up some vitamin D (which is essential for healthy bones and boosting their mood). Other benefits of playing outside include reduced stress, improved focus in the classroom, and helping their brain to switch off at bedtime.
2. Independence and self-reliance – When outside, children are likely to have a bigger play area to explore, often more than an arm's reach away from their parents. They’ll learn to play by themselves and come up with their own games, as well as interact with other children, and pick themselves up when they fall.
3. Creativity – Free of the limitations of indoor play, children’s creativity can run wild when playing outside. With just a little imagination, children can turn natural objects into fascinating games. More space to play in will also encourage them to be inquisitive and think outside the box as they explore the great outdoors.
4. Learning – The beauty of nature’s ever changing outlook is that it makes it an extremely stimulating and multi-sensory place to play and learn. Outside there is so much for them to see, touch, and discover. They’ll also get the chance to develop their gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, balance, and more as they engage in active play in the garden or park.
5. Environmental awareness – Playing outside is a great way to teach children to care for our wonderful planet and the animals and plants who live alongside us. Children who gain an appreciation of nature from an early age are more likely to become eco-conscious grown-ups.
MEET OUR OUTDOOR TOYS FOR KIDS
It’s clear how important the benefits of playing outside are for little ones, so we’ve rounded up some of our best outdoor toys for kids and toddlers to make heading outside all the more captivating.
MUD PIES, ANYONE?
Offering 360 degrees of fun, the Create & Play Wooden Mud Kitchen gives children the chance to engage in messy, sensory play, as well as tap into their inner artist. With space to 'cook' mud pies or pot plants on one side and draw and paint on the other, there’s lots to keep them entertained while enjoying time out in the fresh air. There's even an illustrated weather station on the side for budding meteorologists.
GROW GET ‘EM
Our Growing Garden Wooden Toy is here to kick-start your child’s passion for gardening, growing their own food, and caring for the environment. It features lots of lovely wooden accessories, like seed identifiers, a trowel, a watering can, and realistic looking fruit and veg, plus it’s easy to move from the living room to the garden. As you nurture your own garden or veggie patch, children can watch and re-enact through role play with this enchanting play set.
Set up camp in the garden with a Play Teepee. Our easy-to-pitch play tents offer shelter from the sun and are the perfect base for bird watching, story time, imaginative play or cloud gazing. Don’t forget a picnic blanket to create an extra cosy den.
WHAT’S THE SCOOP?
When the sun is beaming, pop our Lolly & Scoop Ice Cream Shop on the garden table or lawn, and hey presto you’ve got an open-air ice cream parlour. To help children develop their fine motor skills and colour recognition, it comes with a clever magnetic scoop and a plethora of ice cream flavours to serve to customers. Team it up with our free printables to encourage even more learning through play.
With kids’ garden toys this fun, they won’t want to come back inside! So grab the sun cream (or rain coats and wellies!) and let them hop, skip, and jump outside! They’ll reap the benefits of outdoor play, whatever the weather.
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