The Importance of Outdoor Play

I have a bit of a confession.

As much as I know it’s good for him, I’m not always that great at getting Cheeky Chap to spend time outside.

With the arrival of winter, I have been quite poorly. My pain has flared up and I had an almost flu-like virus for a few weeks. It’s been a struggle to get outside.

One of Cheeky Chap’s favourite things to do, aside from being on the PlayStation or iPad, is to go to one of our many parks in Bristol. We have a particularly fantastic one near us called Blaise Castle. With two different playgrounds, designed for different age groups, lots of open space and gorgeous woodland walks, we are incredibly lucky. As well as the play equipment, there is a tree to climb and I swear, every time we go, Cheeky Chap wants to try and cause me to have a heart attack as he scales to the very top of the tree. And often then pretend to be stuck.

 

During the lighter months, we make regular trips to Blaise Castle after school, giving Cheeky Chap the perfect opportunity to burn off some energy. Now that winter has arrived however, even if it is a dry day (and let’s face it, most of them are rather damp!) it starts getting dark at around school pick up time.

It’s then that I am particularly grateful for the break times that they have at school. In Cheeky Chap’s school they are fortunate enough to have lots of outdoor play equipment to play on. There are a couple of trim trails in the main playground and in the EYFS playground, there is an amazing wooden fort with a slide and fire pole. There are many times when Cheeky Chap and his friends will come out of class and ask to go down to the EYFS playground to have a play!

With the weather as it is now, it is easy to forget the importance of outdoor play though. While I don’t mind being outside when it’s cold but bright, getting outside when it’s dull and damp is so much more difficult. Cheeky Chap’s mood and behaviour is most definitely all the better for getting the exercise and being outside, and I must confess mine is too!

Outdoor play doesn’t just improve mood and behaviour but teaches valuable skills. For example, Cheeky Chap has been climbing equipment that was designed for eight year olds or older, since he was two years old and who doesn’t make a random new friend when they’re playing in the park?

Do you notice a change in your child’s mood and behaviour when they get more time outside? It can’t just be me surely?

 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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