How the Outdoors Benefits Young Children

How the Outdoors Benefits Young Children

It is becoming better known that outside learning for children offers substantial benefits to their development and social skills. This also applies to younger children too. Babies can benefit from the experiences of movement, space and sensory stimulation for healthy development just from playing outside.

Stimulate the Senses with Outdoor Play
Along with everything else, outdoor play in natural environments can stimulate the 4 of the 5 senses: smell, sound, vision and touch.

SmellToddler With Arms Outstretched
The outdoors hosts so many different scents from the natural environment and it also changes throughout the seasons. There’s freshly cut grass, different flowers, tree bark, fallen leaves, rain and soil. Each of these smells, stimulate babies senses and teaches them how to follow smells and work out where they comes from. It also teaches them to find the smells without hurting themselves by touching prickly and to practice balancing when leaning forwards, to smell them.

The outside also creates many different sounds that cannot be experienced inside a building. There are so many natural sounds that can be heard that can be exciting whilst others can be calming. Groups of birds tweeting can get babies excited and they may try to mimic the sounds, hearing small animals move around in the foliage can also get them excited and intrigued. On the other hand, the rustling of the tress and calm them whilst also stimulating them.

There is basically one light all day inside a building unless there are rooms with no windows or the lights are off! However, outside you will find a range of different lights all in one area, the sun suddenly goes in and dims the natural light and then it comes back out quickly again. The sun shines through the trees glittering on the floor as the tress move in the wind and in dense tree areas become very dull because sunlight cannot get through. All of these different lights that change regularly can fascinate babies and stimulate their eyes which therefore stimulates their brains.

123rf baby

Copyright a href=’httpwww.123rf.comprofile_yannikap’yannikap 123RF Stock Photoa

There are simply too many to list, but there are so many different textures outside. I could go on forever but here’s a few to get you started; grass flowers, leaves, soil, tree bark and puddles. When babies are inside the womb, they are inside a small space with minimal textures, when they are born they are opened up to massive spaces and so many different textures, lights, smells and sounds. The outside is the best place to allow babies to experience these different textures to stimulate their curiosity and to discover that some things feel nicer than others.

Download our How to Get the Most out of Your Canopy Guide for learning ideas that can be investigated outside!


Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures
at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round
Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
For more information please contact us

Follow us on our social media accounts for the latest funding advice, new products & latest news:
 | Facebook | Google + | Linked In