Importance of Outdoor Play


NHS guidance suggests babies should be encouraged to be active throughout the day, every day. We encourage babies to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines and during supervised floor play, including tummy time.

Once babies can move around, we encourage them to be as active as possible in a safe, supervised and nurturing play environment. The NHS states that children who can walk on their own should be physically active every day for at least 180 minutes (three hours). The 180 minutes can include light activity such as standing up, moving around, rolling and playing, as well as more energetic activity like skipping, hopping, running and jumping. Active play, such as riding a bike, playing in water, chasing games and ball games are the best way for this age group to get moving.

No matter the weather, children will enjoy and benefit from exploring the outdoor environment as long as they are wearing the appropriate clothing for the conditions!

Benefits of outdoor play

Outdoor play is beneficial to children of all ages. Children playing and learning in an outdoor environment appear more active, absorbed, motivated and purposeful, and develop a more positive attitude to learning.

  • Improved physical development and fitness
  • Endless opportunities for imagination and creativity
  • First hand experiences of life and growth
  • Developing social skills by making new friends
  • Improves the children’s self-confidence
  • Enables the children to learn about risk
  • Improves concentration skills
  • Supports communication skills
  • Fresh air improves children’s health and well-being.

Our babies

The children in our babyroom love exploring our outdoor environment. Children of all ages and stages at nursery are able to freely enjoy our outdoor areas. We provide all-in-one suits so that the children who are not yet walking can also enjoy a bit of fresh air! We enjoy taking our activities outside as the children can get very messy with materials such as flour, water, paint etc. Adults like to challenge the physical development of the children by using the slides, see-saws and push along toys. The different levels of the floor also challenge the children’s physical development in a safe way. Some of the children have enjoyed looking in the sky for birds and aeroplanes by pointing and using sounds and words which support their communication and language development.

Ideas for outdoor play activities at home

Outdoor play is also fun for adults and parents to join in:

Hide and seek
What’s the time Mr Wolf?
Water play
Mark making with chalk

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