Playing outdoors isn’t just about burning off steam for children.It’s really a crucial aspectof needed growth and developmentfor each child.
WhyOutdoor Play Matters
Here are a few of the many benefits from allowing children to engage in outdoor play:
- Children need vigorous exercise
- Improved communication and social skills
- Sunlight exposure produces needed Vitamin D for bones
- Increases attention span and boosts cognitive abilities
Creating Outdoor Learning Areas & Spaces
Here are a few elements that are beneficial to incorporate into a proper outdoor play environment:
|Outdoor Learning Area
|Suggested Activities and Materials
|Nature Area Give children some fun and meaningful ways to interact with nature.
|Set up a garden or discovery area with items to explore and handle like seeds, leaves, barks, fossils, etc.
|Social Area Outdoor play itself can be social, but this area gives children more quiet space for focused reflection and social interaction.
|Picnic tables, benches, and designated cozy spots in the playground area all work well for socialization.
|Sensory Area Include activities, materials, and stations which allow children to explore and discover through sensory engagement.
|Water tables, sand boxes, digging tools,outdoor musical instruments, and other event stations are all great sensory area options.
Popular Playground Equipment Options to Consider
A well-designed playground is an ideal space for children to exercise, have fun, and grow important skills, all at the same time! Here are some great elements worth including:
- Manipulative Panels
- Water & Sand Tables
- Inclusive Play Elements
- Themed Play Elements
- Outdoor Musical Elements
Ready to dig deeper in learning about well-rounded outdoor play environments?Check out the complete infographic about outdoor play from your friends at Carolina Recreation & Design!