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As the days progress, children playing outdoor games is becoming a rarity. Seldom do we see children riding scooters in the lane. The cries of children scoring a goal at a football match happen only on television. You must children to play outside as it is crucial for their growth!
When you recall your own childhood memories, you probably feel the world has changed a lot today. Concrete structures eating up space, nuclear families shifting to apartments and saying goodbye to huge backyards, and introduction of gadgets like TV, computers and mobiles from an early age have resulted in our children being stuck indoors. Jean Piaget, a developmental psychologist with pioneering research on cognitive development of children, had long established that children learn through the process of exploration. The importance of outdoor games for children cannot be emphasized enough!
The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play
1. Physical Exercise
The playground is an escape route for children from the confining world inside the walls. Here, they let themselves get carried away as they jump, run, scream, yell, and skip in utter happiness. Playing is helpful as it lets them vent out pent up feelings from parental pressure, daily routine and academic stress. Playing outdoor forces children to use their fine motor skills and helps in developing muscle strength as well.
The main purpose of childhood is to enjoy the years of bring carefree. Children should have liberty to run and jump, shout and scream, whistle and hide. Playing outside in parks or grounds without any inhibitions offers just that. Creating a safe place for them where they can do as they wish is important in these growing years. With freedom, they also learn to take care of themselves. They dive into an unknown adventure.
3. Process of Learning
When children play outside, they learn about nature. They develop an insight into how flowers bloom, how butterflies fly, how trees grow, how sand get its color and so on. This develops curiosity among them. They begin to take risks, try out different games, understand what they like and learn to get up after a fall. Playing games also help them understand importance of rules.
Even though playgrounds have swings, merry-go-rounds, slides and seesaws, they are also full of germs and bacteria. Children roll around in the mud, get hurt, climb trees, chase dogs and the likelihood of them contracting a disease increases. However, children also learn to build up their immunity and fight back the germs and bacteria. In addition, they get a good amount of fresh air to keep them refreshed.
Playing around with other children helps them to learn about friendship, teamwork and sportsmanship. Through play, they learn to deal with children of different backgrounds, attitudes, and personality. Playing also involves a fair amount of fights and quarrels, which are important for emotional development.
Children playing outdoor games develop faster physically and mentally. Children who are encouraged to be outside tend to be healthier and are more sensitive towards the environment. Keep the game on!