TAKE IT OUTSIDE
Her eyes barely opened, still stretching herself in bed, half yawning while asking “Mummy, are we going to school today?”. I threw my arm over her and gave her a tight hug, then told her “no, sweetheart; it’s Sunday”.
“So can we go to the park?”
And then, suddenly, I saw ‘energy’ in her eyes.
“Arnold, WAKE UP NOW! It’s MORNING! Faster brush your teeth. Mummy said we can go to the park. Are you listening? I say WAKE. UP. NOW.” and she went on as she stomped her way to his bed. #thingskidsdo
It was so early on a Sunday morning, but all of us were awake! We weren’t going to waste our time lazing on bed. Weather was awesome and we had to get out! We did.
Let’s take it outside!
Outdoor play is so important! It’s the best place for toddlers to practice and master emerging physical skills.
It is outdoor that children can fully and freely experience motor skills like running, leaping, hopping and jumping!
And it is outdoors that children are likely to burn more calories, thus preventing obesity and other kind of diseases.
Work it out, kids!
Outdoor play is also awesome for bonding! We were playing at the swing when a random stranger asked if we would like her to help take some pictures of us! I thought, why not? So she took my camera from the ground and started snapping some photos of us. This is my favourite! I haven’t smiled like this in a long time. I thought I lost my happiness and there it was, happiness. My children brought me happiness, lots of happiness, a different kind of happiness. I’m so thankful and grateful. A stranger showed me what happiness is. Thank you, stranger.
BENEFITS OF OUTDOOR PLAY
Ditch the tablets and go outdoor! A study reported by Optometry and Vision Science found that children who spend time outside have better distance vision than those who primarily play indoor.
With more room to play, children are often more active outdoor, which helps them build strong bones and good fitness levels. It also helps burn off extra energy and calories. Besides, being in the sunshine allows children, and even yourself, to naturally absorb vital vitamin D, a lack of which can lead to Rickets.
Encourage children to play with slides, swings, see-saw or anything that may seem challenging to them. Teach them to push their boundaries and become good at risk assessment. It may involve children getting dirty, wet, or falling over, these experiences help to build their confidence and is an important part of learning about skills and limitations. Everyday life involves a certain degree of risk and children need to learn how to cope with this from an early age.
- Social Skills
Taking it outside, having unstructured play promotes a wide range of skills. It is less crowded and less intimidating; those helps children to naturally come out of their shells and be more social. This means that children will be more willing to join in activities, to play in groups, learn to share, learn to negotiate and learn how to resolve conflicts. They will also be more likely to talk to different children and make new friends. These all encourages children to learn social skills and how to interact with other children. It promotes self-confidence, resiliency and self-advocacy, all of which can help children learn how to develop healthy relationships and to become leaders.
- Reduce Stress
Who says only adults have stress? Kids have stress too! Spending time outside playing is such a huge outlet for stress. It’s relaxing and some say that seeing green spaces can help decrease kids’ stress levels. Besides, it is good for their mental health.
After exhausting their energy, we went to a nearby hut to have our breakfast. They had their favourite super awesome pumpkin porridge with cod fish, spinach and carrot. Even I love it too! After that, we did colouring, pictures after pictures…
Arnold got bored very quickly so he took out his portable microphone and started singing. Sometimes he pretends to be a DJ “Good morning everyone, my name is Arnold Ong”. Now the entire neighbourhood knows his name.
Soaking in nature is lots of fun too!
Now Sonia and Arnold know what a bark is. Bark shading can be fun too!
Sonia thought the bark was too rough. She wanted to shade on a smooth bark and so we went from tree to tree to shade.
But none was smooth enough. Finally she found one…
…a lamp post… That’s NOT a tree! Haha… We all had a good laugh, but shaded against the lamp post anyway.
So did Arnold. It was a day well spent.