Home » The real reason kids love playing outside

The real reason kids love playing outside

by About Getting Out
The real reason kids love playing outside is that its that little bit of space not governed by adults where they can try things out, take risks and make their own decisions without having their activities defined for them.

I originally planned to sit down and write a post on outdoor games for kids, but then it struck me. I watch kids playing outside from a distance all the time. In the playground, park or the garden. And their games are absorbing. They organise themselves, gather props, negotiate and appear thoroughly focused on their activities, but most of the time I have no idea what they are playing!

Outdoor play, like the outdoors itself, is by its very nature unstructured. The outdoors is a continually evolving playground. Plants grow, flower, seed and die. Puddles and streams come and go. Animals make their homes and leave their mark. Some days are warm, while others are bitterly cold. And it the very fact that it is unstructured that I believe kids love. That little bit of space not governed by adults where they can try things out, take risks and make their own decisions without having their activities defined for them.

Which leads to the question do we give our children enough space? Space to play, to explore, to develop skills and to push themselves. Parents work hard to provide for their kids. We support their learning, enrol them in clubs and drive them to endless birthday parties. But by filling their time with all these activities do we take something away from them?

Of course, leaving kids to their own devices is risky. Walls get drawn on, fights break out, and accidents can happen. But we all learn from the mistakes we make, and even more importantly learn to put things right. A fundamental skill which is invaluable throughout life.

Children face challenging situations every day at home, at school, online, as well as while out and about. We cant, as parents, always be there to protect and guide them. Giving kids the space to learn to assess situations, and how and when to seek help, teaches critical thinking and equips them for later life. So next time your kids stride out on their own, watch from afar and give them their space.

The real reason kids love playing outside is that its that little bit of space not governed by adults where they can try things out, take risks and make their own decisions without having their activities defined for them.

12 comments

Ondo Lady May 6, 2018 - 11:38 am

There is nothing better than Mother nature so it’s good to hear that they are spending a lot of time outside.

Reply
About Getting Out May 9, 2018 - 7:06 pm

It is definitely good for kids to spend time outside especially if it gives them a bit of independence 🙂

Reply
Pati May 6, 2018 - 9:03 pm

I love your way of thinking x back when i was a child i used to have a bit more freedom whenit comes to exploring and discovering now i think setting some space up for my daughter would be a great idea

Reply
About Getting Out May 9, 2018 - 7:08 pm

It really is interesting to think about what we were like when we were kids isn’t it Pati? My brother and I definitely chose to spend time outside as it meant we were left to our own devices 🙂

Reply
Rachel May 8, 2018 - 3:53 pm

This post is soooo true! Kids love playing outside and getting up to mischief! I used to love building dens and making potions when I was a kid!

Reply
About Getting Out May 9, 2018 - 7:20 pm

We were the same Michelle and I loved making potions. We wouldn’t have be allowed to do half what we did if our parents had known!

Reply
Laura Dove May 8, 2018 - 11:47 pm

I love this! My kids are always outside playing! They love getting dirty and exploring, no matter what the weather!

Reply
About Getting Out May 9, 2018 - 7:22 pm

Thanks Laura. I think it’s so important for kids to have some time to play outside independently, it makes it about them then rather than what we want 🙂

Reply
Lisa May 14, 2018 - 10:01 pm

My daughter loves playing outside and has an amazing imagination. I’m hoping that she doesn’t lose it 🙂

Reply
About Getting Out May 16, 2018 - 8:57 am

Imaginative play is such a wonderful thing and so important 🙂

Reply
Siobhan | The Baby Boat Diaries May 14, 2018 - 10:48 pm

Couldn’t agree more with what you have said here! I am a huge advocate for outdoor play with my little ones and also when working (I work in Early Years Education). x

Reply
About Getting Out May 16, 2018 - 9:03 am

Thanks Siobhan. Early years Education is brilliant for fostering outdoor play. One of the reasons I started my first blog was because of how much less time my kids got to spend outside once they entered primary school and in particular once they moved into their junior years!

Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.