Benefits of Outdoor Games for Kids

With each passing day, more and more youngsters are getting sucked into the virtual world games for kids. I do this quite often myself – get wrapped up in all the wonderfulness of technology and overlook, rather conveniently, the benefits of playing outdoors. Is it important at all? At that young age, kids should be encouraged to explore nature as the world outside is still very new and exciting to them. If we aren’t ensuring that our kids are spending enough time playing outside, then it’s a sign that we probably aren’t aware of the benefits of outdoor games for kids.

There is so much that kids can do outdoors. Jogging or running; playing tag, blindfold games, hopscotch and other fun games; swinging and playing in the park; participating in sports events – everything that requires your precious little ones to stay outside and move about is a fun outdoor activity or game that they can engage in.

How do Outdoor Games for Kids help?

 

Interacting with nature –

Being out in the fresh air and open space gives kids the opportunity to interact with nature one on one. Nature is a wonderful teacher and kids must be given a fair chance to learn from it. Allow them to venture out and explore independently so that they discover natural phenomena on their own – flowers blooming, leaves falling, ants making their shelters, and so on. They’ll soon know more facts than text books can ever teach them.

Interacting with other kids –

Besides interacting with nature, another great advantage of engaging kids with outdoor games is the freedom from constant parental supervision and the opportunity to play face-to-face (not virtually!) with their friends. Research has shown the calls, rhymes, taunts and jeers that go on in the field help children understand complex speech and language patterns like phonology, lexis, grammar, and syntax, besides developing their social skills and encouraging friendship and bonding. So, the next time your child is all ready to hit the comp, you know where to send him off to!

Developing physical fitness –

Children are rapidly growing little things! They need physical exercise and activities to help their muscles to develop and become stronger. Outdoor games and activities for kids such as swinging, skipping, skating, or riding help them use their whole body and therefore promote healthy growth and development. Using a swing makes children work on all their muscles while holding on, balancing, and swinging back and forth helps them understand the concept of cause and effect. Skates, scooters, and bikes require kids to balance and coordinate constantly, thus making their mind and body work in tandem. Each outdoor game for kids teaches them important skills.

So, go ahead and think of activities that will take your kids outside the confines of the house. Take them to beaches, zoos, forests, and mountains and let them play, because it’s a wonderful day!

Educational Games Kids Can Play During Their Spring Break

It’s mid March already (can you believe it!) and you must be scratching your head trying to come up with fun ways to engage the kids during their spring break! I know I was and while in the process, started compiling a list of  educational games that the kids could get busy with. I’ve come up with what I’d like to think of as a cool mix of educational games that will keep the little ones on their toes this spring. Sit back, and enjoy!

Educational Game #1 – License Plates Scavenger Hunt

This educational game is a treasure trove of fun and excitement! Play it to practice some geography.

You will need –

  • Checklist with the abbreviations of the U.S. states
  • Pencil

How to play –

  • Print out a checklist with all the 50 U.S. states and have your kids keep their eyes open to see how many license plates from different states they can find.
  • Name the correct state capital before checking off a state.
  • You can also color in an unlabeled U.S. map instead of using a checklist to test your child’s knowledge of national geography.
  • The game is over when all the states are checked off.

How it helps –

Recollection of state abbreviations

Educational Game #2 – Counting Coins

Play this educational spring game with the kids while traveling.

You will need –

  • Plenty of coins

How to play –

  • You can play this game with the kids only if you’re in the passenger seat.
  • Pull out as much loose change as you can find.
  • Ask him/her to count the change. Throw in another task by asking him/her to guess the total amount before counting it!
  • After he/she counts it once, remove a few coins and ask for a recount.
  • Can your son or daughter guess which coins are missing?

How it helps –

Counting, recollection power

Educational Game #3 – Lunar Tags

Let’s just imagine that the backyard is the night sky and a football is the moon. The objective of the game is to be the first to get the football, “the moon”. This game has to be played after the sun sets. The darker, the better!

You will need –

  • Backyard
  • Friends
  • A football
  • Flashlight

How to play –

  • Choose one player as the ‘astronaut’.
  • Have him stand anywhere in the backyard with a flashlight in one hand and the football in the other.
  • Ask him to close his eyes and count till 29 – the number of days in a lunar cycle.
  • While he counts, the other players have to run and hide themselves all over the backyard.
  • He has to call out “full moon” as soon as he finishes counting till 29.
  • Once he calls out “full moon”, players try to run to him and grab the ball without being caught in the flashlight’s beam.
  • The ‘astronaut’ can turn off the light between tags and sneak up on players to catch them!
  • Whoever reaches the ‘full moon’ first is declared the winner and becomes the next ‘astronaut’. And, when a player is caught in the light, he’s out.

How it helps –

Hand-eye coordination, knowledge of the lunar cycle