Nowadays, most kids are glued to their game consoles and tablets and playing outdoors isn't an obvious choice anymore when it comes to playtime.
Safety issues and health concerns may hinder parents from letting their child play outdoors, but here are six facts that might change your mind:
1. Play encourages brain development
North Dakota State University’s study titled Keys to Enhancing Brain Development in Young Children found that play is one of three of the best activities for children to do to enhance their brain development (the first two are music and art.)
The study further explained that “physical activity and movement help stimulate much brain growth and facilitate key connections for learning.”
In his book Play in Children’s Development, Health and Well-Being, Jeffrey Goldstein also adds that “active play has the paradoxical effect of increasing attention span and improving the efficiency of thinking and problem solving.” He recommends two hours of active play every day. This helps in reducing attention deficits and hyperactivity.
2. Play improves social skills
When your child extends his/her social circle beyond the home by interacting with other children around his/her age, he/she learns to navigate the landscape of society. He/She also learns how to get along with others, as well as negotiate, cooperate, and share.
Aside from play time while in school, you can reap benefits by scheduling play dates with your child’s peers outside of class hours.
3. Play encourages physical fitness
Of course, it may be stating the obvious that playing outdoors will help your child’s physical development. By getting active, he/she will also improve his/she balance, endurance, strength, coordination, and other motor skills.
By expending energy on physical play, your child can also work off any pent up emotions or stress—yes, stress—at any age. Tiring your child out during play is also a good way for him/her to release extra energy so that he/she does not become fidgety or impatient.
4. Play cultivates the imagination
Role-playing or imaginative play is part of childhood. It may be the only stage when it is socially acceptable to inhabit an imaginary world for long periods of time. This fertile playground lets your child fly above the ground or swim where there is no water—it improves his/her coping mechanism and helps your child make sense of the world.
During role-playing, your child can take full charge of the script; this gives him/her power over different worlds, even if only for a while.
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5. Play builds emotional maturity
When your child plays with other children, he/she has to deal with other temperaments. Your child learns to adjust and become more flexible. It also allows your child to get in touch with his/her own emotions.
6. Play improves intelligence
Play stimulates the brain and improves capacities for more learning. As stated in
A Mandate for Playful Learning in Preschool: Presenting the Evidence, the research on play confirms that “children’s self-initiated play nurtures overall development, not just cognitive development.”
Play also increases your child’s curiosity to explore the world around him/her and gives answers to questions even you may not have asked.
Let your child play without worrying about negative consequences. Help boost his immunity by providing your child enough nutrients to meet the Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intakes (RENI). Each glass of BEAR BRAND Powdered Milk Drink now contains 100% Vitamin C and high levels of Iron and Zinc. All of these nutrients work together to help improve your child’s immunity so he/she can engage in free play. Thus, it helps you to have peace of mind as your child reaps the benefits of play.