Benefits of Outdoor Activities for Children
Outdoor spaces encourage children to come out of their shells and engage in activities that will get them ready to make new friends and improve their social skills. They also become less dependent on adults and enhance their ability to play by themselves. They get more confident and develop the spirit of sportsmanship early in life. Win or lose, they will be able to engage in the game of sports and pick themselves up if they fail.
Outdoor activities also help resolve mental health issues in children. An important causative factor of mental health issues is isolation. When parents give their children the freedom to play outside, they develop a positive mental attitude and their moods are enhanced.
6 ways to really engage the kids in outdoor play this Summer
2 An irresistible summer day outdoor activity for kids is the water balloon fight. Dads especially can have great fun with their kids by organising a water balloon fight. You can create water balloons from purpose-made water balloons available in most toy shops or simply using regular balloons if purpose-made ones are not available. Attach the neck of the water balloon to a funnel and fill it up from the tap. All you then need to do is to split into two teams, and give each team an equal number of balloons. Whichever team gets their opponents most wet after all the water balloons have been thrown wins the game.
3 Another interesting outdoor water game on a hot summer day is the sponge ball water tag. It is a simple DIY activity involving the use of coloured sponges. Cut the sponges into thin strips and wrap a rubber band around two strips at the centre to make a sponge ball. Make as many sponge balls as you wish but make sure you use different colours of sponge for each team. Place the sets of sponge balls in buckets and fill them with water. Line up each team on opposite sides of the playground. Anyone that gets hit with a sponge ball is out of the game.
4. Riding a bike is simple yet effective. The advantage of this activity is that your child can acquire the skill for life once it is mastered. All that is required is a training bike and a suitable road that is not busy for practise. Practically every dad will enjoy seeing their child cycling on their own to visit friends and family and heading to any other destination on their own once they’ve acquired the skills.
5 You can also have a great deal of fun outdoor with the kids by turning your garden into a Welly wanging arena. Welly wanging is a sport in which competitors are expected to throw a Welly boot as far as they can. All you need to do is for the kids to take turns throwing a Welly boot as far as they can in the garden. A marker with a kid’s name is placed where the Welly boot landed when the kid threw the Welly boot. The kid who has thrown the Welly boot the furthest after everyone has had their turn is the winner.
6 What about a scavenger hunt. They will enjoy running around finding the items on the scavenger list. A list of plants, animals and bugs that can easily be found in the garden is put together and the list handed to them with a bag or a box to keep the items as they find them. It will encourage the kids to work together as a team and if some form of motivation such as a prize is attached to the activity, the excitement levels increase significantly.
About the Author
Han-Son runs DaddiLife - a parenting website for dads which covers a range of areas from things to do, health, reviews and much more.