June 7, 2024

Uncovering The Educational Benefits of Outdoor Play

With National Get Outdoors Day coming up on June 8 and the first day of summer just a few short weeks away, it’s an ideal time to start getting outside with your little ones.

Most of us understand the positive impact being outside has on us physically and mentally. From getting more vitamin D to reducing stress, the outdoors plays a big role in maintaining a healthy body and mind. But did you know the educational benefits are just as great? Keep reading to learn more about how implementing time outside can help your child with their development.

Children thrive when given the opportunity to indulge in a new environment.

Sitting in a classroom for several hours can result in children losing motivation and getting distracted or even agitated. By taking even a short break outside, children can reawaken their senses, enabling more focused long-term learning.

Getting outside offers an engaging way to explore science and the natural world.

Learning from a book is great, but giving children the opportunity to witness natural occurrences firsthand can be even more beneficial. By observing things like colorful, fallen leaves, a bumble bee buzzing around a flower bush, a squirrel hoarding an acorn, or even dew drops on a blade of grass can inspire curiosity and a sense of wonder, creating an opportunity to ask questions and learn.

Outdoor activities can cultivate social-emotional skills.

Exploring the outdoors in a group setting gives children the opportunity to inspire each other and discover new things together, which is important for healthy social development. For example, maybe one child discovers something intriguing during their time outside that they want to share with their classmate. They might invite that classmate to join in on their discovery, give them a chance to observe it by themselves, or even ask them questions about what they’re looking at. This type of interaction encourages children to build critical social and emotional skills such as taking turns, teamwork, and working collaboratively.

In celebration of National Get Outdoors Day, we invite you to dedicate even a small amount of time each day to getting outside with your child. While this can sometimes feel like a challenge, having a set time for outdoor activities, as well as pre-packed snacks and sun protection, can help. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how big of an impact even just 30 minutes a day can have!

Check out Kiddie Academy’s National Get Outdoors Day Activity Flyer for some suggestions on fun, creative ways to get outside.

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