HomeActivities and moreOpt Outside: Activities to Enjoy Outdoors
Opt Outside: Activities to Enjoy Outdoors

Did you know that getting fresh air can reduce stress? Outdoor play has so many social, emotional, and cognitive benefits for your little one. And there’s no better place than sunny California to go outside and explore nature!

Playing outside

Outdoor play is more than a great way to have fun; it’s also packed with benefits for your child’s development. Studies show that kids who spend more time outside are likely to be happier and more relaxed. Time outdoors can even improve short-term memory, concentration, and other cognitive skills. 

Playing outside with friends teaches children important social skills like taking turns, sharing, and cooperation. It also sparks children’s natural imagination and curiosity. Children love to explore the world around them, and being out in nature provides endless opportunities to gain new experiences.

Research also shows that soaking up sunshine stimulates the immune system. This helps children stay strong, happy, and healthy. When children are outside, their bodies also absorb vitamin D from the sun, which helps build stronger bones and prevent chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease or type I diabetes. 

Outdoor play provides children with many opportunities to develop their gross motor skills by running, jumping, skipping, and climbing. Studies also show that children burn more energy outdoors, helping them get out their wiggles.

If you’re looking for new ways to have fun with your child outdoors, here are some activities to try:

  • All ages: Play I Spy with your little one, pointing out different things you see in nature.

  • Baby, toddler, and preschooler: At a nearby park, search for flat, smooth rocks to paint. Bonus: Bring your paints with you and decorate the rock outside on a picnic table.

  • Toddler and preschooler: Spark their imagination with an outdoor game of make-believe

  • Toddler and preschooler: Have fun with homemade bubbles!

  • Preschooler: Set up an outdoor obstacle course at your local park’s playground.

There are countless ways to enjoy the outdoors and gain all the benefits of outdoor play. The most important part: getting out there and exploring nature together.

First 5 California
Contributed by:
First 5 California
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