Why is nature play so important for our little ones?
Our products at Paper & Bean® are influenced by the moments we spend together exploring and playing in and around nature. But just how important is it that we play outdoors with our little ones? Here are 5 key benefits.
1/ Sensory play encourages learning & development
What better way for your child to develop their fine and gross motor skills than to be outdoors, toddling around freely while picking up little treasures or fistfuls of squashed up mud and getting dirty; it's the ultimate sensory experience. Having direct contact with the weather, playing outdoors offers such a unique experience where our inquisitive little learners will develop resilience as they learn to push their boundaries by exploring and trying new things.
2/ Meeting new people improves social interaction
Not just a way to improve physical development, playing outdoors has so many social and emotional benefits for our children. As they grow in confidence they will build a sense of independence yet you'll see huge development in their social skills as they meet and play with new people - especially those little lockdown babies turn toddlers who are just about to start getting to know people.
3/ Playing outdoors stimulates creativity
Just as your little ones grow in confidence from playing outdoors, their creativity will blossom. Playing and engaging with nature encourages our children to use their imagination and initiative, to build coordination and to think creatively as they turn a piece of tree bark into a baking tray or a stick into a spoon ready to delve into that mud pie - yum!
4/ Physical activity leads to a healthy lifestyle
Playing outdoors brings a sense of wonder and excitement to our children and that enjoyment along with physical activity is at the forefront of living a healthy lifestyle. As our little ones explore their natural surroundings they will improve their flexibility, strength and endurance, and what's even better? It will lead to a good nights sleep for them, and a good nights sleep for you!
5/ Connecting with nature forms an understanding of caring for our environment
With the environment being a main focus at Paper & Bean® and one that heavily influences the choices we make with our products and packaging, we realise it's us, as parents, that need to encourage our children to see, smell, hear and feel their surroundings so that they can connect with and develop a deeper understanding of the natural world, our plants and animals, and in turn learn about the importance of helping our planet in order for it to become a more healthy and happy place.
How often do you and your family play outside, and do you feel the benefits? Let us know in the comments below!