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5 Benefits of Outdoor Play for Toddlers

As the weather warms up, young children seem to want to explore the great outdoors. It's not surprising - there's a whole world out there to discover. Playing outside isn't only a treat for kids, it's actually good for their development in many ways. 
 
As a child care provider, outdoor play can offer the following five benefits to your students:
 
1. Promotes cre Playing outdoors offers many benefits for young children.ativity
When kids play indoors, they have a limited number of toys, games, and books. Outside, there is an unlimited amount of possibilities.  There's space to run around and flowers and leaves that can become a part of play. This freedom makes it much more likely that the children will use their imaginations. They can create their own games and activities. This encourages the development of creativity. 
 
2. Strengthens muscles
As kids grow, their muscles are also developing. But unlike adults, kids don't need to be hitting the gym for workouts. Exercise from play is enough to promote good muscle development. It is particularly beneficial outside where they have room to run and jungle gyms to climb. 
 
3. Enhances academic learning
Play doesn't offer only physical benefits. It can also enhance a child's ability to learn in the classroom. A study by the American Institutes for Research found kids' science test scores improved by 27% after they attended an outdoor school. The research also saw improvements in cooperation and conflict resolution skills. These areas that are important for success in the classroom.   
 
4. Decreases stress
While they may not have a job or a mortgage to worry about, kids deal with stress too. One way to counter this problem is to spend time outdoors. According to the University of Illinois, kid's stress levels decreased when seeing green spaces. Time spent outside at a park or in a grassy area can help students relax during the school day. 
 
5. Increases physical activity
Cardiovascular exercise is important for people of all ages. Adults may need to get their exercise on a treadmill. Children get the cardio they need in more playful activities, usually in the form of play. When children take their play outdoors, there's plenty of room for movement. This can be running around in a game of tag or soccer. Including outdoor play in your curriculum can increase your students' daily physical activity.
 
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