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Outdoor Play For All Seasons

Outdoor play has many physical benefits - but it is also essential for social and emotional development too.

Written by: Bellbird  


Physical skills are important for growth, physical coordination and the movement of the body.


Outdoor play improves the physical development of whole body development, strengthening bones, muscles and the cardiovascular systems that keep us alive. Both large and muscles are involved as well as the opportunity to contribute to the health of respiratory and other vital body functions.


When children play outdoors they increase their ability to master skills such as balancing, important in developing other skills such as








Playing outside gives your child the chance to explore the natural environment as they play games, test physical limits, and learn to physically express themselves leading to increasing self-confidence.

Many people associcate being outside with active participation in games and sports only. 

Running and jumping encourage the heart rate to increase, but this can also happen when raking up leaves, or moving heavy items around the garden. Teaching children to be aware of physical indicators like sweating and flushed cheeks can alert children for the need to adjust their level of activity or clothing to help them to regulate their body temperature to a comfortable level. 

Providing an environment with activities that promote both active and passive play also contribute to children's health and development.


Walking outdoors on wet weather days, setting up an easel and paint in the garden or offering quiet and cosy spaces to look at books, or build with manipulatives on an outdoor rug are important for children to access, and become accustomed to enjoying outdoor play whatever the weather.


Ideas for resources that promote active and passive play:

  • Sand & water play
  • Ball games & Skipping ropes
  • Bean bags
  • Bubble mix & wands
  • Art & Craft
  • Climbing equipment

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