The importance of allowing children time to play, exercise and even daydream cannot be overstated. It is especially important that children increase the amount of physical activity they receive, as obesity is becoming a nationwide epidemic. However, certain safety rules should be kept in mind when exercise takes place outdoors.
One positive aspect of outdoor play is that is allows children to express themselves more freely than indoors -- no worrying about damaged furniture or walls. There is also more space outdoors for children to play in, while movement within the house is somewhat restricted.
One problem with having children play outdoors is they can be hard to keep monitor. Children have a tendency to run off, unsupervised, and expose themselves to danger, such as vehicular street traffic which may not see them chasing after a stray ball. Inclement weather can also pose a problem with playing outdoors, as children sometimes do not realise the effect extreme temperatures and conditions have on them.
Always make sure your child is appropriately supervised and dressed for the weather when playing outdoors.
- Playing Outdoors: Spaces and Places, Risks and Challenge (Debating Play); Helen Tovey; 2007