For children, toys are not just fun; they are a necessary part of growth, development and learning. Most experts agree that toddlers need at least 60-90 minutes of active play every day. Outdoor toys for toddlers can encourage fitness and physical activity, facilitating mental and physical development. Here are the three primary ways outdoor toys for toddlers assist in the healthy growth of your little one.
Build motor skills
It’s important for children to learn to control their body through movement. Motor skills, especially gross motor skills, can be developed and improved through playing with outdoor toys for toddlers. Gross motor skills refer to the movement of the whole body involving the large muscle groups such as legs, arms and torso. The development of these muscles is essential for everyday activities such as walking and sitting upright, sporting skills such as hand-eye coordination, and playground activities such as climbing. Gross motor skills are dependant on muscle tone and strength, and these can be developed through activities such as throwing, chasing and catching balls, riding toy vehicles, and climbing on play gyms.
Boost physical activity
Little ones are naturally curious, full of energy and often find it hard to sit still. The easiest way to encourage the necessary physical activity that they require is by facilitating playing with outdoor toys for toddlers. Active play involves moving the body in ways which increase both the heart rate and breathing, more so than when the child is stationary. Toddlers should ideally be active every hour, unless they are sleeping. With rising obesity rates, it’s never been more important to limit sedentary time - outdoor toys for toddlers boost physical activity, which is vital for fitness and development. When your child is outside, they are able to explore their natural environment and have more space for big physical movements, such as running, climbing, jumping and throwing – activities that develop muscle strength and coordination. Not only that, but playing outdoors also allows for your little one to get their daily dose of vitamin D and fresh air, simultaneously boosting their physical and psychological well-being.
Develop social skills
Playtime is crucial for healthy brain development in children. Preschoolers can learn to engage and interact with others in the world around them during play with outdoor toys for toddlers. Playing in the backyard, local park, playground or beach is not only free and fun, but also provides an outlet for all of that physical energy. The additional benefit is social competence – learning to share and interact with others boosts their self-confidence and people skills. Children tend to be more active when playing with others, as opposed to on their own. Ball games, chasing and hide-and-seek are just a few examples of games that develop language skills and social and emotional learning.
Wanting to invest in some fun outdoor toys for toddlers that encourage physical activity? See our range of toys perfect for outside play here.