There are many reasons for this decline: growing dependence on television and computers, worries about safety... The most common reason? Many popular electronic toys cannot be taken outside.
So how do we get kids outside? Through play!
Outdoor play is a great way to keep children busy and physically active. It promotes gross motor skill development, balance, exploration, socialization, pretend play and so much more. Outdoor play also offers opportunities to explore the backyard and stimulate the senses by holding bugs or mucking around in the mud. Children can find or create their own places for play, collect objects as well as develop hobbies. Remember when you used to collect rocks, build a tent out of sticks, or go from neighbors house to neighbors house looking for your friends to play outside?
Lets not forget the health benefits children gain from playing outside! Running around, playground play, and many outdoor play toys support the growth of the childs muscles, heart and lungs as well as all other vital organs essential for normal physical development.
Utilizing toys specifically designed for physical activity ensure that our children are not only having fun but they are learning at the same time. There are many outdoor toys that can keep our children busy, but not all toys will promote learning.
Here are some great example of toys that promote learning:
Egg and Spoon Race Game by International plaything is an excellent toy to strengthen gross motor skills and balance. This game encourages socialization because it is played in teams. Your child can play with his friends in his backyard. Makes a great party game, too!
Pogo Jumper by Kidoozie is an awesome outdoor toy -- even parents will want to play with it. This pogo jumper can hold up to 250 pounds yet it is easily transportable. You can easily take it to the park or a neighbors house. This toy encourages physical activity and strengthens balance for children three and older. Note: this is a particularly active toy so be sure to wear a helmet!
Sights n Sounds Splash Table by Kidoozie is a great toy for toddlers and can be used for both outdoor and indoor play. This table stimulates your toddlers senses with various sounds, water and other activities that will keep your childs mind and hands busy!
Live Butterfly Garden by Insect Galore will spark your childs inner scientist. With this kit, children ages four and up engage themselves in a butterflys life cycle. They observe real-life caterpillars eat and grow to form their chrysalis and then emerge as Painted Lady butterflies. Spring time is the best time to have a butterfly garden in your backyard!
Yall Ball from Joint Merchant is a cant miss outdoor play toy. You just cant go wrong with a ball. This simple but classic toy provides open-ended play toy for children of any age or gender. Ball play provides ample physical activity while helping to develop gross motor skills and balance. Children are particularly attracted to vibrant color balls of different sizes. The Yll Ball from Joint Merchant is lightweight and shiny. You can choose from a variety of different sizes.
Be an active part in encouraging your child to play outdoors and dont forget to play, too! With parental involvement, children are given extended opportunities to learn--asking questions and engaging in meaningful conversation that will help them explore our world.
About the Author
Melissa Henry is a former preschool teacher, a mother of four children and the owner of Momos Special Toys. Momos Special Toys is the first educational toy store to sell therapeutic products for children with special needs in Georgia. Melissa Henry and her staff are considered and known to be toys experts.