From Hide and Seek to Hopscotch and Oranges and Lemons, we all grew up playing so many exciting outdoor games with our friends. Be it at the park or the road in front of our house, nothing could stop us from seeking new adventures each day.
Why are kids not playing outdoor games? A quick analysis
Did you know that more than 30% of toddlers and infants use tech gadgets? According to a recent survey, 60% of parents revealed that their kids play games on smartphones and iPads. Two-thirds of parents in the United States and other countries say that they are finding it difficult to interact with their kids. One-third of parents of pre-teenagers say their child never uses or interacts with a voice-activated assistant, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon Alexa.
They find it challenging to encourage them to play outdoor games because of the widespread adoption of smartphones and easy access to the Internet. These figures are proof that in this technology-driven era, kids are more inclined towards playing indoor games. They will choose Xbox games over Hopscotch and mostly show no interest in exploring the outside world.
Why is outdoor play important for kids?
While we all agree that technology has changed modern parenting and helped parents raise their children smartly, it is also important to understand that it has restricted the new-age kids to their digital devices. Without playing outdoor games and interacting with the real world, kids cannot develop good social skills. They find it difficult to make friends in school and it also limits their creative talent.
Lack of outdoor playing can also lead to serious health issues and also cause behavioural problems. When kids play outdoor games, they learn so much about teamwork. These games teach them how to cope with losing and winning. Kids start finding solutions to problems on their own and become independent. They learn to adjust to different environments and experience the actual world.
Top 5 Benefits of outdoor games for children
- Outdoor play enhances physical development and makes kids stronger: When kids play outdoor games like football, cricket, or even Ice and Water, they are more likely to move, run, and jump, eventually building more physical stamina. Outdoor games help in strengthening the muscles and bones. It makes them flexible, and stronger, builds more immunity, and stimulates blood cells. Did you know that kids who indulge in regular outdoor activities are less likely to get heart disease later in their life? Outdoor games mean more exercise that keeps health conditions like obesity at bay. If you want your child to be physically fit, always encourage him/her to play outside.
- Outdoor activities and games help kids learn new things: When kids play outside, they learn several important life skills such as cooperation, empathy, communication, observation, and sharing. They learn the art of making new friends and making more social interaction. Apart from these skills, outdoor play allows kids to learn about their environment, plants, animals, community, and even their country. They get a better understanding of nature and experience the real world. Outdoor games play a big role in the growth and development of kids and teach them several things that help them later in life.
- Outdoor play enhances creativity: As kids begin to play in the outside world instead of the digital world, they automatically tend to get more curious about anything and everything. They may try to make a house using some abandoned sticks or create their own outdoor games that they want to play with their friends. They learn the ability to make the best use of their surroundings. It gives them a chance to expand the horizons of their imagination and get as creative and innovative as they can. Kids are always more inquisitive than adults and when given the right chance, they can surely surprise you with their creative skills.
- Outdoor games help develop good social skills: Having good social and communication skills is very important for toddlers and infants, especially before they go to primary school. Good social skills not only help them during their school life but also in their college and professional career. This is why it is important to ensure that your kids are indulging in outdoor games as it gives them a chance to interact with their peers and build strong social skills. When they spend time with their friends in the park, meet new people every day, and talk about games and life, they automatically master the art of communicating effectively.
- Outdoor activities and games boost motor skills: Did you know that outdoor activities and games such as Trampoline, Hopscotch, Simon Says, Red Light Green Light, or just regular playground play enhance motor skills? From playing with a ball to climbing hills or walking on uneven surfaces can improve their coordination and balance.
1.What are some popular outdoor games for kids in India?
Statues, Four Square, Kick the can, Marbles, Simon Says, Keep away, Ice and Water, Ladder Toss, and Football are some of the most popular outdoor games for kids in India and across the globe. These outdoor games for kids can be played in the park or the backyard.
2. Why are outdoor games important for kids?
Outdoor games play a vital role in the overall development of kids. They help them learn important life skills such as teamwork, sharing, and cooperation, amongst others. Kids who play outdoor games regularly are likely to have better communication and social skills than those who do not.
3. How to encourage kids to play outdoor games?
You can start by calling a few of their friends over, taking them to the backyard and giving them fun outdoor toys to play with. Another clever way to encourage your kids to play outside is by involving them in outside activities and teaching them the benefits of playing outside.
4. What are some traditional outdoor games in India?
Five Stones, Hopscotch, Marbles, Twenty Five, Lattu, cricket, and Kabaddi, are some of the classic Indian outdoor games that are not only fun but also enhance motor skills and improve focus.
How will kids interact with other kids, make new friends, learn new things, seek different adventures, and experience the real world if they are glued to digital devices? Outdoor games play an essential role in building confidence, self-esteem, and courage. They make kids understand the importance of sharing, the grief of losing, and the happiness of winning.
Kids learn the art of team spirit and take on new adventures with their friends. There are so many legendary cricketers, badminton players, and footballers out there like Sachin Tendulkar and Lionel Messi who began their journey of becoming world champions from the street right across their homes.