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  • Writer's pictureCassandra Hyland

Importance of Outdoor Play

Updated: Jul 1



It’s a sunny afternoon...

And you’ve finally wrestled your toddler away from their tablet.

So you head to the park with your little one(s), where the sun is shining, birds are chirping, and you’ve packed the perfect snacks to go along.

And for a while, everything is perfect.

Your child is laughing, running, and discovering the world with wide-eyed wonder.

You even manage to snap a few Instagram-worthy photos.

But then ...

It's time to go.

Your little one clings to you like a barnacle on a boat refusing to leave.

Your negotiations fail. Your bribes get rejected. Then you start wondering if you’ll ever make it home before dark.

Bit of a paradox isn’t it?

The beautiful chaos that unfolds when a tiny human gets a taste of their independence ... and the willpower to defend it.

But here’s where it gets interesting:

Those park meltdowns aren’t just a test of your patience.

They’re a window to your child’s developing brain., a sign that they’re learning crucial life skills right before your eyes.

It’s easy to feel frustrated or even embarrassed by those public displays of defiance.

It’s enough to make any well-intentioned park trip feel like a battle.

It’s also tempting to chalk it up to “just a phase” or assume they’re deliberately trying to push your buttons.

But what if those outbursts might not just be a sign of defiance, but a sign that they’re gaining independence?

A sign that your child’s brain is blossoming, their personality taking shape, and their understanding of the world expanding?

Now we’re not saying every tantrum at the park is a developmental milestone or that you should condone them.

Some are just plain meltdowns.

But outdoor play, even when it’s messy and chaotic, is a powerful catalyst for your child’s development.

It’s a playground for their growing mind, and training ground for skills they’ll need to navigate life’s ups and downs.

So with that in mind, here are 3 short but true reasons why outdoor play is crucial for a child’s development:  


It’s a great way for them to go from clingy to confident: 

Outdoor play is a natural confidence booster.

Navigating a playground, climbing up a tree, or even just running through the grass gives them mastery over their environment and their own bodies.

It’s a whole leap towards becoming self-reliant and gaining the ability to take on new challenges with courage.


Nature is a Natural Reboot – Plus It’s Great for Digital Detox 


Today’s world has screens everywhere.

And while they can be educational and entertaining, too much screen time can zap a child’s energy, stifle their creativity, and ruin their attentions spans.

Thankfully, nature is a great antidote to that.

The great outdoors offers an endless supply of stimulation that no tablet can match.

The rustling leaves, the chirping birds, and the feel of cool grass beneath their feet – all these experiences ignite a child’s curiosity and awaken their senses.

It’s a full-body and mind workout. It’s where their imaginations run wild, problem-solving skills are put to the test, and boredom simply won’t exist.



Friendships and Beyond


Want your child to build social skills and lasting friendships? Outdoor play is a social haven.

Whether they’re working together to build a fort, playing tag, or simply chatting on a swing set, these interactions teach them how to share, cooperate, negotiate, and empathise with outhers.

It’s another building block to the foundation for healthy relationships that will last a lifetime.  



Want Your Child to Experience Plenty of Outdoor Play?


The outdoor part of our program isn’t just about playtime fun.

These essential life skills are woven into every aspect of our preschool programs at Centenary Childcare Centre.

Our nurturing environment provides ample opportunities for your child to explore, discover, and connect with other children through outdoor play and early learning activities.

Curious about how our unique approach to early learning can benefit your little one’s adventure?

Come and explore our range of programs designed to foster social skills, creativity, and lifelong learning here:


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