Why is Outside Play Important for Early Years?

In the exciting world of our early years, where curiosity knows no bounds, the great outdoors serves as a boundless playground for exploration, growth, and development.

At St Peter’s Prep, our independent school in Devon, we are surrounded by beautiful grounds, a scenic coastline, and a vast moorland; the perfect playground for our students.

Let’s shed light on the profound importance of outdoor play in the early years of childhood. The benefits are as vast as the open sky, from physical health to cognitive development.

Benefits Their Mental Health and Wellbeing

The outdoor air and being in nature provide a sanctuary for mental wellbeing, reducing stress levels and fostering a positive mindset. Studies show that spending more time outdoors positively impacts one’s mental health. The outdoors is truly a natural haven for nurturing children’s emotional resilience and mental health in their early years.

Encourages Exercise

For young children, the outdoors is just a big playground, inviting them to embrace the joy of movement. Running, jumping, and exploring nature promote physical fitness and instil a love of an active lifestyle. Outdoor play becomes a dynamic avenue for developing coordination and laying the foundation for a lifetime of healthy choices.

Promotes Creativity and Imagination

Nature, with its infinite possibilities, becomes a canvas for imaginative expression. Outdoor play sparks creativity, encouraging children to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Whether building forts from fallen branches or acting out performances, the outdoors is a fertile ground for the blossoming of creative minds.

the benefits of going to school by the sea

Vitamin D

Getting outdoors means getting more vitamin D, which is crucial for healthy bone development and the overall wellbeing of young ones. Outdoor play provides double benefits: physical activity and the goodness of sunlight.

Supports Social Skills

The playground of the outdoors becomes the perfect stage for social growth. Interacting with peers in unstructured environments fosters the development of essential social skills. From sharing toys to navigating conflicts, children learn the nuances of cooperation and teamwork, laying the groundwork for positive social interactions in various settings.

Independent Learners

Children become architects of their learning journeys in the freedom of outdoor play. Exploring nature sparks curiosity, encouraging independent exploration and discovery. Whether observing insects, investigating plant life, or experimenting with elements, the outdoors becomes a classroom where young minds become enthusiastic, independent learners nurturing a love for discovery that lasts a lifetime.

Outdoor play is not merely a pastime but a powerful catalyst for physical, cognitive, and social growth. At St Peter’s Prep, we recognise the importance of nature’s playground in shaping resilient, well-rounded, and imaginative individuals.

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