How Outdoor play can enhance child development

How Outdoor play can enhance child development

Children love the outdoors as it enables them to play freely and explore the world around them. It gives them social stimulation, while getting rid of some energy, but it also teaches them to interact and co-operate with others.

It is vital that schools and nurseries offer the correct play equipment so that children can grow and develop. Children love to climb, run, and play and these are great platforms to enhance the way they think and talk with others.

Children benefit immensely from sensory based play because it enables them to immerse themselves in the activity and get messy whilst having fun. They will learn what sharing is all about and how to take it in turn, getting the opportunity to work with others. Whether they are playing with sand or water, they will more than likely invent games and look to achieve a final goal such as emptying one bucket of water into another.

There is also a huge benefit to children if they take part in role playing. This way they can develop their social skills and an emotional understanding of playing with other children. Therefore, bringing in tree houses, dens and play houses means that children have to play together in a close environment and this can make it easier for them to express their emotions, while learning through role playing and pretend scenarios and situations. Children like to use their imagination and all of this forms part of their role play. By giving themselves a specific role, such as playing a mother, a father or a doctor, they can form relationships and put themselves in a position that allows them to understand how others feel.

Throughout our entire lives we have to co-operate with others and so it is vital that children learn to work with others. Relying on the help of others is one thing we have to do in life and so, children will learn how it all works and how to build relationships.

Giving children access to equipment such as kitchens, sand tables and water tables will give them a platform from which they can begin to develop friendships. Children are forced into situations where they have to learn to work together to solve problems while making decisions along the way. They can help each other to make pretend meals or build sand castles, all of which will prepare them for their lives ahead and their transition to school life.

It is important for people to have opinions and to have their own voice and so, children who have the ability to be creative in a social aspect will give them the scope to discuss their feelings and ideas. This is where pretend play is effective because it enables them to interpret ideas and discuss their own ideas. Again, play equipment gives them the opportunity to learn to negotiate, talk and voice their concerns and opinions in a social environment.

Play equipment should form a fundamental part of the development of children. It gives them the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills that will set them up for rest of their lives.

For more information about or to arrange a free site survey at your school, please contact Andy Swain on 01582 665096 or visit

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