As entertainment and education evolve and advance, kids have often been criticized for spending more time indoors thanks to the innovations of electronics. However, what makes playing outdoors more valuable than playing indoors? Is it better, or is it simply the nostalgia of an older generation? The only way to answer these questions is by exploring the benefits of outdoor versus indoor play.
The indoors isn’t barren of benefits like some may think. Indoor play is more conducive to creative pursuits or structured play such as video games, arts and crafts, board games, and puzzles. This helps kids develop their minds and problem-solving skills as they solve problems or express themselves artistically. Video games even have more value than you may believe—they provide opportunities for exercise with dance games or introduce new concepts and ideas.
Indoor play also eliminates many risks of injury thanks to structured play. Structured play is when an adult or authority—typically parents or teachers—either lead kids in an activity or set guidelines and rules that kids must adhere to while playing.
So, what does outdoor play bring to the table? Well, the most obvious advantage is that kids can run around, exercise, and develop themselves physically thanks to the wide-open spaces. Playgrounds and parks also provide kids with opportunities to climb and refine their motor skills. They are places for kids to gather, meet, and socialize. This is where free play is given a chance to shine. Free play is when kids are left to their own devices, albeit with some non-intrusive supervision, and are allowed to make their own decisions and rules as they play. This teaches leadership and cooperation.
Structured play is still available outside, of course. Portable gaga ball kits for sale have risen in popularity as an easy way to provide fun games for kids that are still good for exercise and socializing while featuring the guiding hand of an authority figure or the rules set upon them by the game.
Which is Better?
After exploring the benefits of outdoor versus indoor play, we hope you’ve come to see that both hold benefits necessary for a child’s development. Instead, try to focus on maintaining a healthy balance between the two. Allow your child to gravitate towards their interests and hobbies but provide opportunities that allow them to encounter new experiences, people, and challenges. If your child prefers the indoors, encourage them to play outside for merely an hour in order to stay physically healthy. Meanwhile, if your child prefers to play outdoors, then take advantage of bad weather by offering more mentally stimulating pursuits while they’re stuck indoors.