Outdoor Play

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When you think of outdoor play, what comes to your mind? Rec league athletics such as soccer or t-ball?  Time at a playground?  Or do you think more about unstructured, free play? All of these are beneficial and contribute to your child’s health.

Team sports help kids learn to work together with others while practicing on a set of skills. Playground play provides great gross motor movement. However, unstructured, free play seems to be the holy grail of outdoor play and yet, the hardest to achieve for some of us. In the society that we live in, it’s really hard to let kids safely play unsupervised…but too much supervision and interruption from adults could be preventing them from the real learning of free play: developing their imaginations, taking risks, collaborating with peers. How can you even go about providing this type of play to your kids?  One thing I do I simply take a book or magazine outside with me while they play.  I sit and try to stay uninvolved with their imaginings, etc. What ideas do you have?

In the society that we live in, it’s really hard to let kids safely play unsupervised…but too much supervision and interruption from adults could be preventing them from the real learning of free play: developing their imaginations, taking risks, collaborating with peers. How can you even go about providing this type of play to your kids?

One thing I do is simply take a book or magazine outside with me while they play.  I sit and try to stay uninvolved with their imaginings to give them opportunities to stretch their imagination.  What ideas do you have?

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