Outdoor play is considered an important part of early childhood education. Froebel was a nineteenth century educationist who was the first one to emphasize the importance of outdoor play for children’s mental and physical development.
Children who do not get enough play time tend to be overweight and obese. Playing outdoors improves circulation. It can help shape a child not only physically but mentally as well. Physical play can involve the following activities:
- Digging and playing with sand and other materials available in outdoor settings
- Running and climbing ropes and trees
- Hopping and jumping
However, it should be kept in mind that it’s always necessary for an adult to supervise the children while they are at play. This is because children tend to get too excited when playing outdoors and it can result in carelessness.
Outdoor play has been emphasized by any educationists but these days physical care givers are also keen on promoting outdoor play. There are quite a few advantages of outdoor play. These include:
- Children who indulge in outdoor play tend to be more physically fit then their peers.
- Ted to get sick less often because they are physically fit
- Have a healthy body which means their bones and muscles are well developed
- Less anxious and less prone to depression
- Are more interested in the wellbeing of their peers as well. Such children learn to encourage their friends who might not be as good as them and try to encourage them. It builds a spirit of caring for others.
- These children also have higher self esteem
- Also increasing outdoor play time can have a positive impact on classroom behavior
- They have a better memory
Supervising children at play
In promoting the importance of outdoor play, it is also necessary to ensure that children have the right equipment and supervision to make their play time as safe and productive as possible. Enrol in a childcare centre in Brookvale where there are teachers and care givers who can keep the following things in mind when supervising children:
- All areas of play are to be supervised. This means supervising the sand area and tree houses
- They should provide safety guidelines to the children as well. It is necessary to impart the guidelines in a clear and firm tone.
- There should always be someone on the lookout especially if there is a large group of children in the play area. There should be equal number of supervisors for a specific number of children.
- Children should be helped while transitioning from one activity to the other.
- All caregivers should stay in their respective zones until play time is over.
- Caregivers should make sure to scan the assigned areas on a regular basis. Any potential hazards should be ruled out immediately by providing proper safety.
- When it’s too hot children should wear sunscreen and a hat to protect them from the heat. It is the responsibility of the teachers and caregivers to ensure that each child is properly attired.
Keeping all the above mentioned safety rules would help ensure that children are well protected during outdoor play.