Summer is almost here and that means it’s a good time to go outside and enjoy the weather. But kids should get the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors year-round.
Outdoor play has a tremendous influence on all kinds of development, from physical and emotional to social and emotional.
- Being outside encourages lots of movement including running, jumping, throwing, catching and skipping.
- Being outdoors requires kids to use their touch, sight, sound, scent and even sometimes taste, along with their major muscle groups.
- Outside play is typically more unstructured and inventive, not only leading to increased cognitive development, but teaching social skills and building self-confidence.
So to answer the question – YES it really is important for children to play outside!
Warmer weather usually means more time outdoors. However, don’t forget to keep kids safe! Sometimes it is not safe to play outside due to the heat. Child Care Weather Watch has information on when it is comfortable to go outdoors to play, when you should use caution, and when it is dangerous. The pdf does a nice job of explaining the differences of each level and addresses both warm weather and cold weather. Great reference if you are in the least bit unsure.
Another good reference is the CDC article Make Summer Safe for Kids. Read about ways to keep your family healthy during the summer.
Have a Great Week!