Outdoor Play for Social and Emotional Skills in Children

It’s no secret that the human brain begins growing and developing at a very young age, and they learn from the simplest of experiences. This enables your children to be aware of the world around them and to consciously think and make decisions. And while this concept may be both interesting and complex at the same time, there’s no denying the fact that outdoor play helps a lot!

Times when children have to wait their turns on commercial playground equipment and following the playground rules by sharing, all form components of a healthy social-emotional development. Young children develop their social-emotional skills through practice and small steps over time.

As parents or caregivers, it is fairly simple to support your child’s social-emotional skills. Acts like holding him, touching him, and speaking to him and giving him loving care and attention are all helping factors. All of this while you allow them maximum freedom to play, follow his interests are absolutely important in helping build their social-emotional skills. This also teaches him that hard work and persistence is often followed by success.

Difficulties in social-emotional skills can often lead to children having trouble when playing with other children. Becoming easily frustrated or angry or not empathizing with other children while at the outdoor playground equipment are all signs that may point in this direction. This can in turn lead to them not empathizing with the needs of other children.

As for the development of cognitive skills, these develop through practice and opportunity over time, and involve traits like paying attention, memory, and thinking. And while some cognitive skills may be genetic, most are learned through real life situations. In other words, learning and thinking skills can be improved through enriching cognitive experiences.

To enable them to learn, it is important that we are mindful of what our children are interested in. And this realization is only set in place once the child is given enough room and time to grow and explore. It’s completely normal to feel like we know what’s best for our children in order for them to learn something new, but if we simply step back a step or two, it’s really interesting to see how surprising the results can be.

Depriving children of such experiences can mean that they might struggle with higher-level thinking skills such as coming up with their own ideas, problem-solving, and other forms of creative expression. And while it is normal to think we know the absolute best and are trying to keep them safe, we forget that by rushing them and cutting down on play time, we’re actually causing more harm than good.

Source by Jason Fernandez Walter

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