The role of outdoor play in emotional development

The Role of Outdoor Play in Emotional Development

Research shows that regular outdoor play can have a positive impact on the development of children’s emotional health. Playing outdoors helps children to develop the social and emotional skills needed to be successful in the future.

Impact on Mental Health

Outdoor play gives children the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical sensations and can help to alleviate stress and anxiety. Spending time outdoors can also aid in relieving the symptoms of depression and develop creativity. Studies have shown that outdoor play can lead to improved moods and better focus.

Confidence and Self-Esteem

Being able to explore unfamiliar environments and take risks can help to boost children’s confidence and self-esteem. Through outdoor play, children learn how to explore space, interact with nature, and test their skills. Through these experiences, children are able to find their sense of place in the world and begin to build a stronger self-identity.

Opportunities for Cooperation and Communication

Playing outdoors in a group setting creates opportunities for children to learn how to cooperate and communicate effectively. Children learn how to play together, take turns, problem-solve, and take on different roles. Through playing outdoors with others, children discover the different ways they can collaborate and become more confident in expressing their thoughts.

Health Benefits

Finally, playing outdoors can have a positive impact on physical health. Outdoor play can help to develop a child’s gross motor skills while boosting physical fitness and helping to reduce the risk of obesity.


In conclusion, outdoor play provides numerous emotional and physical benefits for children. Participating in outdoor play can help children to develop important emotional skills, boost their confidence and self-esteem, build communication skills, and help keep them physically healthy. Therefore, it is important for parents to ensure that children are able to participate in regular outdoor play.

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