Outside Play

Spring is coming! In some places, it may not feel like it (Midwest, get with the program), but I promise, it’s coming. It makes me get all excited for outside play! My kids are finally at the age where I can send them outside to play without needing to go with them.

photo of child on a bike with text - outside play. Activity ideas for playing outside and why it's important.

Last week during spring break, we had a beautiful day. The kids were bugging me about what to do, so I sent them outside. I didn’t ask them, I told them. Out they went for some outside play! They stayed outside for 4 hours, only coming in for 25 minutes to eat lunch. This is huge for my kids! I’m not going to lie, my kids love screens. So they needed this badly.

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What defines outdoor play?

Outdoor play is pretty self explanatory – it’s play but outside. It’s large motor play and giving kids opportunities to exercise their large motor muscles, and sometimes even fine motor muscles.

What are the benefits of outside play?

  • A break for you – I’m going to be real with you here for a second. My favorite part of outdoor play is the fact that I get a break! I can send my kids outside and not worry about them. It’s glorious!
  • Physical exhaustion – this leads to better sleep! Who doesn’t love better sleep. My kids sleep so much better when they’ve spent time outside that day.
  • Large motor development – okay, my educator hat is back on. Outside play allows for amazing opportunities for kids to be exercising their large motor muscles which improves large motor development. This is the movement of legs, arms, motor abilities, etc.
  • Imaginative play – Kids have so much more opportunity to work on imaginative play while they’re outside. Being outside helps improve this aspect of play. Sometimes I do like to listen to them as they’re playing outside and their play is so much more creative.
  • Sensory benefits – There are so much more sensory play opportunities when they’re playing outside. Grass (this goes for babies, too), listening to birds, cars, airplanes, trains, playing in water, mud, dirt!
  • Social skills – ask the neighbor to come over while your kids are enjoying outside play. This will help improve their social skills.
  • Increases attention span – when playing outside, kids are encouraged to use their imaginations. When they are leading their own play, they are more likely to play longer.

Outside Play Ideas

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