• Playground Design and Build Specialists

08/04/15 Blog

The Importance of Outdoor Play

The Importance of Outdoor Play

Recent research suggests pre-school children have 'poorer physical skills' than 20 years ago, sourced from a leading physical development expert.

Dr Lala Manners has over 25 years experience in the field suggesting:

"Children's physical skills are more compressed now. Twenty years ago, I could guarantee that a class of four-year-olds would have certain physical skills but it is not like that now."

Dr Manners continued:

"Children are more fearful or hurting themselves and of hurting each other. Children are much less stronger than they used to be and are much less physical."

Here at Newby Leisure, this topic is something of strong importance to us. We believe outdoor play is an absolute necessity to any child growing up. It offers great importance to all walks of life thereafter and is paramount in adapting to different situations in life.

For example. Outdoor and physical play is a great ingredient to assist in the development of social, verbal and inner confidence. The fact that children may become secluded from this at such a young age is a worrying thought. As always, we endeavour to relay the benefits of physical play to children of all ages. Not only that, but our wealth of expertise in the leisure industry means we are learning about child development all the time. It's something that is clearly an adaptable process, it just needs the nurturing to allow children to feel comfortable to express their imagination.

When on the topic of parents guidance of the subject, Dr Manners expressed:

"Research suggests it is all down to the mothers, if they are active their children will be active, it’s that simple".

Although a very bold opinion from the conducted research, it does trigger the thought of social media implications in todays society. As we all know, it's very easy to switch on the TV, search cat videos on YouTube, but the best remedy for any parent and child interaction is undoubtedly outdoor play, or even indoor for that matter.

"Screen time brings instant gratification whereas physical skills takes time and it doesn't happen overnight. It is much more difficult to learn to hop and skip and jump than it is to press a button. This mismatch is something that the younger generation now has to grapple with," according to Dr Manners.

There's food for thought with the whole story, but for us, we think it's something we must highlight. Everyone can help with many aspects of physical play, right through from us at the design and build stage of physical equipment and apparatus, streaming through to teachers and parents. We all have a part to play.

To see how Newby Leisure could help you with the design and installation of leisure equipment, please call us on 01472 230022. Alternatively, drop us an email – info@newbyleisure.com.

To read the full story on "Pre-school children today have 'poorer physical and motor skills' than 20 years ago," click here.

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