The modern day definition of playing for many children these days are stuck in front of the laptop, television, game console or tablet devices. Game consoles more generally refer to video games that required connecting to the television. Examples of game consoles are Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii. While there is doubted those tech gadgets can help young children in terms of their mental development and dexterity, getting kids playing outdoors is beneficial too. A gadget is a small technological object that has a certain function, but often thought of as unique. Examples of tech gadgets are smartphone, iPod, Samsung Galaxy Tab, PlayStation and many more.
Playing outdoors is a form of exercise that encourages kids be well-being and healthy physical development. Play outdoors can let them explore their environment, improve their muscle strength, and organization, and also improves self-confidence. Playing vigorously outdoors also will increase flexibility, development of an extensive collection of physical skills, as well as involved themselves in sports. Outdoor play should not become too academic and too teachers and parents controlled.
2. Background Information
The growing of kids nowadays and back then is different. Kids nowadays spend indoors that wired to technology while kids back then spend their time outside enjoying the nature. The huge majority of today’s kid only stays indoors use a computer, watch TV, online or play video games on a daily basis. However, only about 10 per cent of kids spend their time outdoors every day, according to a new nationwide poll from The Nature Conservancy. About 80 per cent of kids said that it is uncomfortable to play outdoors due to thing like bugs, mosquitoes, and also the heat outside.
Then about 70 per cent of them said that they do not have transportation to go outdoors like natural areas. Lastly about 63 per cent said there were no natural areas or nice places for them to play outdoors that near to their houses. These days parents are so busy with their work and they do not have time to accompany or bring their children go out and play. Our culture is taking outdoor play away from young children through excessive of TV and computer use, unsafe neighbourhoods, busy parents, elimination of school recess and academic standards nowadays that push more and more developmentally inappropriate academics into our early childhood programs, thus taking away their time to play and relax.
3. Benefits of Kids Playing Outdoors
3.1 Physical Benefits
Obesity is getting more and more these days because most of them are lazy to do exercise and spend time outside, they prefer watching television, playing video games and online at home for the whole day. Outdoor play also enables children to enjoy the natural environment and learn how to seek out exercise, and fresh air. Children who learn to enjoy the outdoors activities have a much higher likelihood of becoming adults who like to hiking, bicycling, mountain climbing and many more. This is dangerous as obesity becomes an ever-greater national fear and as we must all learn to care and protect the environment. By spending time in the sunshine playing, it can help their bodies to get vitamin D to develop healthier bones and can reduce risk such as heart disease or high blood pressure.
3.2 Mental and Emotional Benefits
Children these days have busy schedules with school and extracurricular activities and they may experience stress and suffer from conditions like depression. Physical activities outdoors can definitely help kids to reduce their stress and also can improve their mood. When kids are playing outside, they are most likely running, jumping, yelling and laughing. Take a break to let kids playing outside can increase focus of children while they are in the classroom.
3.3 Promotes leadership skills and encourage cooperative play
In the environment where children create the fun, natural leaders will arise. One child will need to explain how to play the game, while another may enjoy setting up the physical challenge of an outdoor obstacle course. While in a setting where there aren’t clear winners or losers, children work together to meet a goal. The way they cooperate or work together to meet a desired result helps them to increase their relationship. They may also learn how to share foods, toys and so on.
3.4 Cognitive Benefits
Playing can develops kid’s memory, thinking skills and ability to study. According to The National Centre for physical development, playing can develop children’s gross motor skills, which increases their ability to remember new information. Spending time outside can benefits children to determine new things and make sense of the world around them when they are outside.
3.5 Social Benefits
When kids are playing outdoors with other kids, they are learning about relationships and how to behave as a member of a group. Spending time outside can allow children to make new friends, resolve conflict and express their feelings. They also will learn how to follow the rules and gain self-control skills. For example, pushing each other on the swing, playing together in the sand, jumping rope together and so on can develop social skills. Physical play, constructive play can also involve in social play if it encourages the commitment of more than one child.
3.6 Natural Experience
Playing outside is vital to a child’s growth and their mental and physical development. When playing outdoors, they can interact with the environment, the nature by climbing trees, lying on the grass, digging in the sands, or play with the butterflies. By interact with the nature and also with the other kids outside, it helps to motivate the curiosity and creativity of children and they also can learn new thing of being outdoors. When they are playing outside, they can hear the sound of birds’ tweets, the bees breezing, the sound of the dried leaves and many more. Therefore, they also can learn and know about how do caterpillar become butterflies, how do plants grow, how does mud feel and smell like and so on.
Providing for the outdoor play needs of children is a complex and challenging task. Parents should take some times to bring their children go out to enjoy the environment not just stuck in the house playing games or watching TV. As a part of being child, they must have the chances of playing outdoors. So that they can be healthier, become smarter, can enjoy the environment and have memorable memories when they grow up.