It is a fact that children love playing outside, even from a very young age. And that’s a good and natural thing because there are so many benefits of outdoor play for young children. Not only does playing outside allow them to explore their environment, develop social skills, improve muscle strength, and grow in self-confidence, but it also helps increase learning ability, flexibility, and motor skills. The benefits of outdoor play are astonishing and it’s no wonder that we should be encouraging our children to play outside as often as we possibly can.
So, to encourage you, I thought I would write an article on the 5 outdoor games that benefit your child’s health.
Why are Outdoor Games Beneficial?
Before we jump straight into the article, I thought we could take a minute to discuss why outdoor games are so beneficial for children. The obvious answer is that children have a great need for physical exercise and the burning off energy and calories through outdoor activity. Outdoor games give children the opportunity to run, jump, skip, ride a bike, and enjoy being active in the sunshine.
Children use their whole body when they play outside and engage a variety of their muscles to balance and coordinate their movements. Therefore, outdoor games and activities can be both fun and challenging. So, let’s take a look at some of the outdoor games that will be most beneficial for your child.
Netball and Basketball Games
Outdoor games such as netball and basketball are fantastic activities that keep kids active and on the go. It helps children burn those extra calories, improve their coordination and motor skills, and get all the physical activity they need to work up a sweat. However, netball and basketball games aren’t just a fantastic energy-burner, they also encourage group participation and interaction with other children – helping develop those social and team-building skills, too!
The Agility Trail
Most children love a good challenge and setting them the test of a fun agility trail is a great way to engage them and keep them active. Agility trails have been in school playgrounds for many years and are a popular playground marking. However, this brightly coloured activity is also something you could make at home with a driveway to draw on and some chalk.
Agility trails test children’s physical abilities by leading them through a series of exercises, from skipping, hopping, and jumping, to star-jumps, crawling, and sprinting. To up the antes and make it even more of a challenge, it is possible to add in activities such as sand bags, hop-scotch and so much more – you just have to get creative with it!
What’s the Time Mr Wolf?
Most of us have played this game many times in our younger days, too. What’s the Time Mr Wolf? Is a fantastic game that not only encourages kids to be active and develop their social interactions, but also to learn how to tell the time, too! This game is a great exercise and an ideal way to teach children something while also encouraging the more energetic kids among the group to burn off some of that extra energy.
Kids love playing games of chase and they are a great calorie burner and a fantastic way to use all that pent-up energy. Kids love being chased and chasing others so alternative versions of tag are always a popular outdoor game choice. Therefore, freeze tag is a fun choice!
The game works by one child being the ‘tagger’ and chasing the other children around the playground. Any child they tag has to freeze in position and can only resume running around when one of the other players ‘untags’ them. It’s a really fun game for kids wanting to run around and burn off some energy.
Another traditional outdoor game that has been around for years and years, hop scotch is a playground favourite. This game is great for getting kids active, helping them develop their team playing skills, encouraging socialisation, and improving their balance, coordination, and physical fitness. Hop scotch is a personal favourite of mine and can be played just about anywhere – all you need is a slab of concrete to draw on and some chalk. It’s super simple and provides hours of active fun!
What are Your Favourite Outdoor Games?
Leave a comment below with your favourite outdoor games and let’s get sharing some ideas with one another. After all, there are so many outdoor playground games to choose from! I hope this article has given you some good ideas and inspired you to encourage outdoor activity in children on a daily basis.
Rachel is a professional copywriter and writes on a variety of subjects. She is passionate about health and wellbeing, blogging, and encouraging others.