outdoor play and its importance
22nd March 2019

Why we love Outdoor Play ? | Benefits of Outdoor Play | Reasons to be out in Nature

By Jinal Gada

Outdoor play enable children to enjoy the natural environment and learn to seek out exercise, fresh air, and activity. There is something fundamentally healthy about playing outdoors. Outdoor play fosters opportunities for creativity, imagination, social connections, and learned behaviours. It has a positive effect on children’s social development, motor skill development, improves attention and activity level.


“PLAY is the highest expression of human development in childhood for it alone is the free expression of what is in a child’s soul.”

I love being outdoors. Being inside the house 24/7 makes me feel as though it’s a house arrest. I detest not stepping out of the house even for an hour in the whole day .I follow the same rule for my tiny tot. No matter what, my 2.5 year old son Khevaansh, has to go out to play for an hour. I take him every day for some time of outdoor activity. There are days when play time in the Society Park or garden is not possible. Those days are substituted by an outing to a grocery store or Granny house.

Visiting the same play areas bring boredom and stagnates the creative development of a child’s brain.

To avoid this, I do not restrict Khevaansh to a park or a garden play. Playing time for us is at the beach as its more close to nature or a walk in a beautiful natural roadway, away from the hustle –bustle of the busy streets.  

Well, here are few of the inferences I have drawn that prove why outdoor play is important for kids.

1. Fresh air:

We should thank our mother nature for blessing us with the magical air that we breathe. Fresh air boosts up the brain cells and therefore helps in a very healthy development of a child’s mind and body. If you think the air in Mumbai is not fresh, you must think our houses are loaded with artificial light, artificial climate, chemically painted walls , limited fresh air, too many chemicals and no microbes too boost immunity. 

2. Absorption of Calcium and other nutrients:

Encourage children to indulge in outdoor physical activities for at least 90 minutes – says The famous Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar. Doing so helps to absorb the nutrients from the food the child eats and it helps in avoiding any kind of deficiency. Isn’t this a good reason to be outdoors? 

3. Socialisation:

The increase in nuclear family with changing times keeps kids confined to a small social group. This result in stunted growth i.e. does not lead to complete blooming of a child’s personality. Outdoor play brings in exposure to a bigger circle of people around thereby instilling social values and interactive qualities in children. Kids don’t need school to socialise. Outdoor play can do that work.  #unschooling

4. Channelizing Energy:

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. This proverb lies true for kids. It is very important to channelize a child’s energy and this is possible and beneficial by involving your child in outdoor activities and games. Parents must encourage their children in playing outdoor on a regular basis. If this energy is not channelized kids become cranky, exhibit temper tantrums and develop an aggressive behaviour. All this can be curtailed by encouraging playing outdoors.

5. Good night sleep:

A healthy lifestyle i.e. right nutrition and the correct way of channelizing energy develops healthy growth of mind and body. When a child’s energy is efficiently utilised it brings in good sleep at night. Draining of energies will tire the child and compel to sleep on time. This will bring in a discipline in the sleeping schedule of kids and inculcate the habit of rising early too. “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise”.

6. Natural :

Apart from all the above, its just natural for a kid to be outdoors. In cities, its difficult but if you observe kids in the rural areas, they are hardly at home. they are bold, independent and by themselves at a very young age. Nature is the best teacher.

vijvihaar has a detailed post on nature and its 5 elements. I think you must give it a read.


Outdoor games have changed into online games. Endless talks turned into texting, Memories have become screenshots. Innovation in technology is bringing in a revolution, but we need to understand that the ground is the same and that is the old customs of playing outdoors was, is and will always be the healthy way of leading to a healthy,mental and physical development of a child. So mommies if you want to ease out your worry of how to entertain your child you only need to do one thing- ENCOURAGE OUTDOOR PLAY AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES IN YOUR GROWING TODDLERS.

 “Children learn as they play. Most importantly, In Play Children Learn How to Learn.” 

O. Fred Donaldson

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