Outdoor play enables children to burn off any unspent energy from the classroom, socialise with their peers, and get some much-needed fresh air. But did you know that there are lots of reasons why you should allow youngsters to continue playing outside, even when the heavens open?
Wellies, raincoats, and umbrellas are a must – and it helps if you have school canopies – but playing in the rain can…
Promote a healthy lifestyle
Teaching children from a young age that exercise shouldn’t be prevented by the weather is a brilliant way to promote an active lifestyle.
After all, those who lead a healthy life in their early years are more likely to carry this habit on throughout their adulthood – shaping them into happy and healthy individuals.
Plus, playing outside in the rain allows little ones to reap the health and educational benefits that come with outdoor play and learning. Win-win.
Enhance physical skills
Children develop physical skills quicker in the rain.
The slippery conditions mean they have to work much harder to stay on their feet – maintaining their balance – whilst using their coordination and gross motor skills.
But that’s not all. Playing in wet weather also requires them to put their thinking caps on to manage and negotiate the risks. For example, is the climbing frame too wet to use? Will it be harder to walk on the grass? Is it a good idea to jump in puddles if you haven’t got a spare pair of shoes to change into?
Provide a sensory experience
When it rains, there are lots of different sounds, sights, smells, and touches that instantly enhance a child’s sensory experience.
For example, watching puddles form on the tarmac can be calming and listening to the pitter-patter of rain hitting the ground can be relaxing, while the earthy scent of rain can make them feel more refreshed and energised.
Give a real sense of independence
Letting children play outside in rain showers is a fabulous way for them to learn vital independent skills and self-help.
It makes them think carefully about how they need to dress (i.e. putting on a waterproof coat and wellington boots) in order to keep themselves warm and dry outdoors.
And once they come indoors, they can learn to hang their coats up and to put their wellies away – ready for next time.
How many kids don’t love jumping in muddy puddles?!
They use their vivid imaginations to transform a wet playground into something out of the ordinary – like a loch with a terrifying monster or a forest with a muddy swamp. The possibilities to take on new roles are endless, and the rain merely sets the scene for their creative games.
Understandably, some parents and teachers have reservations about letting children play out when it’s raining. However, Setter Play have an extensive range of playground equipment, including school canopies and shelters, that can help you to transform your play area into an all-weather adventure.
To find out more, call them on 01462 817 538.