Outdoor play for children is becoming more and more recognised as essential for healthy minds, bodies and souls. Coming out from a long, harsh Winter full of darkness, depressing Covid news and lots and lots of rain, the days are looking much brighter, and there has never been a better time to embrace the outdoors! As the old Swedish saying goes: "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing".
Freedom - no more "indoor voice", no more bouncing off the walls (literally), no more slamming doors. Outside, children have the freedom to be, express themselves in all forms, and let it all go. For many children, this can mean releasing a lot of negative tension and stress in the form of running as fast as they can or jumping in puddles. For other children, freedom can mean peace. Listening to the birds, observing nature and picking flowers. Outside, children are welcomed in all forms.
Health - Science has proven time and time again that time spent outside contributes to overall health and wellbeing. It supports brain development, physical development and even emotional development. With fresh air, exercise and the full sensory experience, children gain healthy minds, healthy souls and healthy bodies.
Appreciation of our planet - Outside, babies and children can learn hands-on what it means to be a good ancestor. Feeding the birds, planting seeds and trees, observing insects and bugs and learning about our environment encourages positive connections with the earth and its residents.
Better sleep quality - have you ever noticed how tired you might feel after time spent outdoors? Fresh air and exercise releases endorphins which contribute to that content, sleepy feeling you feel after coming in from being out for a walk or even just in the garden. This leads to better moods, better concentration and, in turn, better sleep quality.
Building Confidence, Taking Risks - Outside, babies and children have more opportunities to overcome risks and difficulties. "Risk" is something that children need to build confidence, boost self-esteem and cognitive development. It can be something as simple as a baby deciding to crawl a little bit further today or a preschooler wanting to climb the biggest tree in the garden. By allowing children to assess and take some risk, we are instilling respect, confidence trust in them to make their own decisions and solve problems, no matter how small.
Social skills - den making, swinging, chasing and hide and seek. The outdoors provides a wonderful opportunity for children to come together and engage in positive social-emotional connections.
Engaging and Nurturing Curiosity, Wonder and Innocence - possibly my favourite benefit of all, the outdoors is a wealthy treasure trove of wonders and delights. Each time you go outside, your child will find something new, something that provides that spark behind their eyes, something that ignites the wonder in their minds. Oftentimes, they might even gift you this special find, or keep it as a part of a collection, or in our case, sleep with it under a pillow! These moments are golden for children as they grow and explore the world around them through all of their senses, never expecting anything but accepting everything they come across with new, fresh eyes.
Twinkle Kids now offers OUTDOOR Music, Movement and Mess workshops in the West Wicklow Area! Lots of opportunities to develop important gross motor, fine motor skills, engage in music and rhythm and of course, make lots of big messes! Get in touch or book today!