In the modern and high technology world of the present time, it is not a common sight to see kids running around under the sun. Even with the beauty of nature and the lovely weather during good summer days, the young ones are usually stocked up inside their homes. Spending more time in front of the television sets, computers and the myriad of gaming online and offline gaming consoles. While such an option does keep children safe from certain harmful elements in the society, predators and the likes, it is not healthy at all.
Benefits of outdoor games for children
Keeping the kids indoors limit their development in different aspects of their existence. Their chance to express themselves physically is stunted due to the physical limitations of their surroundings inside the house. The following are some benefits that outdoor games have for the little ones.
1. Better vision - Being outside has been proven by research to be helpful in children’s visual abilities with kids spending more time inside having lesser quality distance vision than their outdoor counterparts. This is probably related to the unlimited number of activities they get access to while outside, improving their visual capacity as they utilize it more as they play around
2. Improved social skills - Another important development that children benefits from going outside is on their social skills. Playing indoor is limited to family members and closest friends who get invited for playtime, which makes the social circle rather small. When a kid goes outside, especially in public playgrounds, beaches and similar venues, they will find ample opportunities to be with other humans. They get to interact with other kids who share their own thoughts, desires and capabilities. This helps them develop their sense of being in relation to other people who are of the same qualities as themselves.
3. Enhances psychological development - Kids get to adjust more and develop psychological flexibility when exposed to other kids and the outside world. In the home, kids are usually the center of attraction and affection among the adults. This is a natural thing and is not really bad unless the child processes it differently. Some kids who are so used to being constantly pampered and provided grow up failing to realize the value of other people around them. When they are given the chance to socialize and mingle with other kids, they realize that there are others like them and learn the art of communicating, understanding and compromising.
4. Natural Vitamin D - The very free and unlimited source of vitamin D is right outside the door. Vitamin D, which helps keep kids from having bone problems, becoming diabetic or being affected by heart disease in the future, is in its most natural form directly from the sunlight. For this one though, it is noteworthy to mention that ample sunscreen should be applied to avoid skin cancer and similar conditions.
Having highlighted the benefits of playing outside on kids, here are five of the most popular and beneficial ones that the young ones can get involved in.
There is a global, if not universal, agreement that ball games are the most popular outdoor gaming options. The options are unlimited when it comes to balls, but baseball and softball seems to be topping the list. A kid can become the next ball game superstar, and there is no better way to get to it than by letting the kid to love the sport early. Ball games help children improve their physical strength and cardiovascular endurance. It also help develop effective and efficient coordination between eyes and hands. Socially, these games foster the art of discipline among youngsters, inspire leadership and build the ability to work with and support other people.
There is no better way than treasure hunting to hit a couple of birds with just one stone when it comes to outdoor games, making it to the list of top 5 outdoor games for children. This activity provides an arena for the development of the perfect combination of physical, mental, social and psychological aspects of a growing child. All it takes is a little more creative and effort to set up the outdoor arena to provide tactics to finding certain treasures with the use of a child's mental processes, physical abilities and social skills. This might involve a little more preparation than the regular game, but it is definitely worth the effort for parents and babysitters alike.
Aside from the common ball games, there are a bunch of other sports that can be incorporated into a kid's regular playtime. These include, but are not limited to, Frisbee, mini marathons, swimming or running races and javelin throw using a pencil or similar other harmless material. This series of activities can be organized to promote proper training for the young ones. It is best to set up the games as competitions between groups instead of individuals in order to further facilitate the development and improvement of the kids' social skills while working on their physical abilities as well.
Another hit in the 5 outdoor games for children list is relays. The best thing about this game is the fact that it involves groups. For parents, babysitters or caregivers who are organizing the games, it is best to give kids a chance to be in groups with other people. With this, they are given the opportunity to know the other little people around them instead of sticking with the same bunch always. More so, this develops their abilities to be flexible and gives them a view of other personalities. Another great thing about relays is the amount of activities that can be incorporated in it. In some cases, it can even be played with the most minimal to zero material at all. This further shows the children how to be creative and resourceful to win the game, which they can incorporate into their own personality and become a part of themselves as they grow up.
For the people who look after the children during their playtime, letting them play by themselves is probably almost always the best option. While organized games have specific targets and focus on certain areas of a child's development, there is really nothing wrong with giving them the leeway to do what they want and play as they like. Kids are social by nature. If you leave them with other kids, they end up with a couple of friends by the end of the hour. Since they do not really have much negative experience in socializing, it is very easy for them to mingle with their fellow kids and build different forms of connection in the process. Without even telling them anything, kids find ways to entertain themselves and they collaborate with each other to find the next best thing to do. Allowing them to play freely is giving them the world as their playground where they can explore what they want to do, where they want to go and who they want to be. Basically, free plays are opportunities for the little ones to check out what make them happy, which is crucial in determining their future potentials in the world.
The Need for Outdoor Games for Children
The thing with kids is that they are a blank slate. They come with no experience and no presumptions on the elements around them. They react according to the physical stimulus that is exposed to them, so if you give them a gaming console and a wide-screen audio-visual output, they can live with that. However, as they grow older, they get to embed such habits into their system.
While there is nothing about the gadgets that technology has put forth, they are not completely healthy to be around with 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They limit the actual human interaction that young people who are in their growing and developing stage must have access to. They need such in order to learn how to go about further in the world of adult humans. In addition to that, they fail to develop and fully realize their physical abilities as these are not the focus of video games and their relatives.
The world is a large playground and life is a continuous game. Kids who remain in the boxes of their homes are left with very limited to absolutely zero ability to interact with the rest of the world. When they fail to amplify their social and physical skills, they end up with low self-esteem.
Unfortunately, they need to go out and be in the world outside of their homes as they grow up, and if they are not equipped with ample training on dealing with the world and its elements, they can end up depressed and lonely adults. After all, adults are just kids who have grown up anyway. The above 5 outdoor games for children are just some of the many activities that help make a kid become the healthy and fully functional human being that he is supposed to be.