Outdoor play is not only fun but extremely beneficial for your child’s healthy development! Let’s go into the importance of playing outside, why it matters, and how a high-quality daycare program can ensure your little one receives it.

The Importance of Outdoor Play

The digital age we live in has undeniable advantages and privileges. But with tech devices becoming increasingly accessible, children are spending less time playing outside. A study found that American children ages 2 to 5 spend an average of more than two hours per day in front of electronic devices such as phones, tablets, computers, and televisions. Removing all screens from our lives isn’t necessary (or perhaps even possible) but it’s important for families to fight against a sedentary lifestyle by encouraging movement and getting outdoors.

Encouraging young children to play outside away from screens has physical, mental, and social-emotional benefits. From engaging in structured games with peers to exploring the nature around them, there are endless ways for kids to learn, have fun, and reap the developmental benefits of outdoor play.

Healthy Developmental Benefits

Let’s go over more information about why outdoor play matters and how a high-quality daycare program can ensure your little ones receive it.

Promotes Physical Wellness

Outdoor play is essential in promoting physical wellness from a young age. Showing how fun running, skipping, and playing outside is helps to establish a positive relationship with physical activity. This helps to set children up for a healthy attitude toward staying active throughout their life.

And getting out in the sunshine means children get ample amounts of vitamin D. This crucial vitamin aids in immune system development, strong bone and muscle growth, and even helps bodies to heal more efficiently. At Giggle and Grow, we are so lucky to be able to take in all the Arizona sunshine regularly! We make it a point to have fun activities and playtime in our outdoor play area to get kids outside and enjoying the fresh air.

Encourages Learning About Self and the Environment

Playing outside is also a great way for children to learn about their own physical and emotional capabilities and push their limits. It’s also a way for young children to learn early on about the world around them!

When children play outside, they are figuring out: How high can I climb? Can I get to the top of this rock? How will I get down if I make it to the top? Can I roll on the grass? Is cement hard or soft to fall on? To learn about their physical capabilities, they must experiment with them. By allowing supervised independence when children play outside, they can begin to explore their capabilities and what their environment can offer them.

Improves Executive Functioning

Additionally, outdoor play can help children develop and improve their executive functioning. These are things such as working memory, self-control, and mental flexibility. Children can learn how to improve these functions by learning how to adhere to game and activity rules and coming up with creative ideas and solutions. The outdoors is filled with things that trigger the five senses, and outdoor playtime that integrates those can help children learn how to process information, as well as foster creative growth.

Enhances Motor Skills

Outdoor play is crucial for the development of children’s fine and gross motor skills. It allows children to work on their whole body movement, and includes actions like alternating feet to walk up and down stairs, climbing, and jumping. It helps them to refine their movements, engage their muscles, and become more aware of their body and physical space. Learning spacial awareness is especially important as it teaches children to learn to avoid bumping into objects and being mindful of looking ahead rather than behind them when walking.

These skills will benefit a child every day, but need to be practiced! At Giggle and Grow, we love incorporating hands-on activities outside to help young children advance their strength, coordination, and balance.

Boosts Social Skills

Playing outside is a great way for children to practice social skills and cultivate relationships. There are so many opportunities for them to develop and practice communication skills by playing games, participating in group activities, or even sharing outdoor equipment. Outdoor play lets children establish relationships with their peers in a way they feel most comfortable and without the help of their parents or guardian. In daycares like Giggle and Grow, teachers can facilitate group activities that help children learn to voice their interests and needs to one another, cooperate, and resolve conflict.

Giggle and Grow logo on a white background.

If you’re looking for a high-quality daycare in Gilbert, Arizona, look no further than Giggle and Grow!

Enroll in Giggle and Grow Today

If you’re looking for a high-quality daycare in Gilbert, Arizona, look no further than Giggle and Grow. With us, your child will grow through age-appropriate activities, plentiful outdoor playtime, and socialization with their peers. We strive to make a positive difference in the life of every child by partnering with parents to provide an environment that is safe, nurturing, educational, and individualized. Let us help your child learn, play, and grow.