In this tech- savvy and mobile phone generation, it is very important to encourage children to indulge in outdoor activities.While there are lots of DIY activities and amazing curated activity boxes with activity sheets, flash cards and a lot of mobile applications that help to develop various skills of the growing children indoors, we should include outdoor playing time in the routine of our children. In this era of digitisation, children are naturally drawn towards gadgets, cartoons and video games but we as parents need to challenge them to come out into the real world by involving them in outdoor activities.
There are many benefits of including outdoor play time for kids. wondering when is the right time to start with outdoor activities? I say, start when baby starts to sit with or without support that is around 3-5 months of age. You will be surprised to see how baby enjoys. However, the kind of outdoor activities you should indulge your child into vary with age.
If your child is school going, there are numerous outdoor activities you can bring into their routine. Below are listed 7 outdoor activities for your child (5 years and above age):
- SWIMMING: Swimming is a fun activity that has many benefits. It involves whole body movement against the water and so is a great form of whole body exercise. It benefits the cardiovascular system of the body. Not only physically, but children are challenged mentally through swimming. They learnt to set goals and work with full dedication to break their limits. It channelises their energy and they learn an important life skill.
Activities to Boost Your Child’s Developmental SkillsPlease select the age group of your child
- CYCLING: It is a low impact activity. It is excellent for the muscles of legs and also accelerates the stamina of the body. It helps to keep a check on the child’s weight and helps them to stay fit. It also gives them a sense of independence and they become confident. One additional benefit of cycling is that develop social skills by interacting with other children and have fun together. This will reduce their screen time and make them curious to learn about surroundings.
- PLAY TIME IN PARK: Park time must be included in every child’s routine. It benefits the development and behaviour of children in many ways. It helps them to come out of their shell and be more interactive and social. They see other children, play with them, share their toys and make new friends. They learn about nature by observing and are exposed to fresh air and natural light which is very beneficial for their health and well being.
- TREASURE HUNT IN PARK: You can organise a treasure hunt at the park for children once in a while. It’s a fun game that every child loves. Parents can coordinate, supervise and plan. Children like to explore their surroundings and this gives them a chance to work in teams and learn coordination, cooperation and builds a trust in their capabilities. You can choose a theme while planning and challenge them with different tasks. It’s fun
- HOPSCOTCH: This is a game which we as children have also played and enjoyed. It’s a classic game which never gets old. All you need is a chalk, a stone or peg and a safe sidewalk or lawn. It requires to make hopscotch board on the floor, number the boxes, throw the peg serially and jump the boxes without touching the edges to pick up the peg and start another round. This is fun, improves body balance, coordination and strategising. You can give a twist to the numbers in boxes and help children have fun with numbers too. That way they learn while playing.
- MINOR SPORTS LEAGUE: Children love to learn new games and you can introduce sports like cricket, badminton, soccer and basketball to them at an early age like 5/ 6 years of age. Sports not only require physical efforts but requires mental presence too. It is responsible for overall development of a child and teaches them so many values like team work, winning, losing and keep on trying no matter what.
Speaking about physical development, playing sports improves the stamina of children as it requires running, hopping and all muscles while movement. It boosts endurance and flexibility of the body. So introducing sports to children is like a win win situation for parents. You can organise minor leagues for children in your society and make it interesting for them.
- FREE PLAY: By free play I mean, leave them at an outdoor spot and let them explore on their own. Of course your supervision is a must, but don’t direct them what to do. They learn so much by observing.
If they have company of other children (friends) ,there are many games you can teach them. Cat and mouse run, bean bag race, water balloon race, statue, pretend plays, fire and ice and so many like these. These are super fun games with lots of physical activity. There are many outdoor activities that you can include in children’s routine. These are just a few of them. Outdoor activities are a must as they are responsible for overall development of a child’s physical strength and personality. Moreover they get exposed to dust which helps to build their immunity against them. And they could also be a great time spent together and be the reason for strengthening the bond between you and your child. So don’t hold back and have fun with your kids!
About The Author – Priyanka
Software Engineer, Stay at home mom to Aarav. I worked as a teacher before becoming a mother. I thought it was a perfect time to take a break and live all the moments fully while taking care of my little one. I started blogging and found a long lost passion in life.