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Outdoor play

10/04/2023

Outdoor play

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and, when the grass of the meadows is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath it's shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning as it wakes every living creature that divides its day between waking and sleeping.”  Maria Montessori

As the world becomes increasingly digital, it's more important than ever to take downtime from screens and engage with nature, for parents to encourage their children to spend time outdoors and engage in hands-on play. In the words of Erin Kenny “Children cannot bounce off the walls if we take away the walls.”

Outdoor play and toys that provide numerous benefits for children's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the benefits of outdoor play and provide tips for parents to encourage their children to spend more time outside and engage in hands-on play. In the words of Maria Montessori When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.’

Benefits of Outdoor Play and Montessori Toys


  1. Physical Health: Outdoor play allows children to engage in physical activities such as running, jumping, and climbing, which are essential for their physical health. Introducing outdoor toys, on the other hand, help children develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
  2. Mental Health: Spending time outside and playing can also improve children's mental health. Research has shown that exposure to nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Toys can promote concentration, independence, and a sense of accomplishment, boosting children's self-esteem and confidence.
  3. Creativity: Outdoor play provides children with endless opportunities for imaginative play. They can create their own games and explore their surroundings, which fosters creativity and imagination.
  4. Social Skills: Playing outside with other children and introducing outdoor toys helps to develop social skills such as communication, cooperation, and teamwork. It also provides opportunities for children to make new friends and learn how to resolve conflicts.

Tips for Encouraging Outdoor Play

  1. Start inside: Playing outside can always start by playing inside, engage kids by playing with nature inspired toys, such as My forest floor, or how about a bit of den making with the amazing P-L-U-G kits which enable anyone to make the best indoor dens.
  2. Be prepared: Make sure you all have the right clothing, keep dry and warm. Plus take drinks and snacks. There’s no better fun than a little picnic out in nature, and equally there’s no less fun than soggy feet and being cold. Our Forest trail kit comes with its own ground sheet plus lots of ideas for outdoor adventures.
  3. Lead by Example: Children are more likely to engage in outdoor play if they see their parents doing it. Take your children for a walk, or bike ride, and take some toys with you, we love this collapsible ball Foooty which can be turned into so many different shapes! 
  4. Create an Outdoor Play Space: Create a dedicated play space in your backyard. If you have the space, we love this pocket swing which can also be taken on family camping trips! You can even have some fun in the smallest of spaces with a bucket and some water, and good old-fashioned MUD! Try our Bio Sand set which is the perfect gift for that wild child! 
  5. Make Outdoor Play a Routine: Incorporate outdoor play into your daily routine. This could include taking a walk after dinner or spending some time exploring outside, Hape’s Nature exploration set is sure to inspire their inner naturalist.
  6. Bring it home: Collecting and sorting leaves and flowers is great for motor skills and creativity. Try collecting some flowers and turning it into an art piece with Tender Leaf’s Flower Press

Whether inside or out sunny day or rainy day, your little wild child can engage with the forest and create the best times at one with nature!

If you’re not sure on the endless outdoor toys on offer - shop our curated collection ‘Wild Child’

 

A Binky is a hop and a skip of sheer joy.

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