Play is crucial for a child’s healthy development and wellbeing. Studies have shown that outdoor play affords many benefits to children, including better physical health, as well as mental and psychosocial benefits.
Through play, children learn societal roles, norms, and values and develop physical and cognitive competencies, creativity, self-worth and efficacy. Play has been described as the work of children which helps them develop intrinsic interests, learn how to make decisions, problem-solve, exert self-control, follow rules, regulate emotions, and develop and maintain peer relationships Risk-taking in play helps children test their physical limits, develop their perceptual-motor capacity, and learn to avoid and adjust to dangerous environments and activities.
Want to learn more? Read this scholarly article by Ian Pike, one of Parachute’s advisory board members, and three other researchers on Children’s Safety: Balancing Priorities and Development.