How Outdoor Play Is Beneficial for Special Kids
Are you worried about your special child and fear he might lack behind other kids in learning? Special children have special needs because they are different than others. These children face problems in communication skills, social interaction, and cognitive learning due to the shortcomings they have. Despite missing some obvious skills, they can benefit from outdoor activities up to a great extent. Apart from providing physical benefits, playing outdoors is absolutely beneficial for improving social and mental skills in special children. In this post, I will be talking about physical, mental, and social benefits, separately and respectively.
The most obvious benefit kids get when they step outdoors to play is an intake of Vitamin D from the sunlight. A number of researchers have shown how important it is for kids to expose themselves to sunlight for a few minutes every day. What is more, playing outdoors improvements motor and balancing skills and also boosts muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination. Moreover, playing also advances cardiovascular health, which, in turn, increases life expectancy.
Special children have a great inferiority complex. However, playing outdoors helps in improving their self-esteem by overcoming obstacles and meeting challenges. Even setting minor challenges help in boosting their confidence as they feel pride in accomplishing something they thought they could not do. Moreover, it enhances their problem-solving skills as completing a task involves a lot of issues that have to be resolved. What is more, special children suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression more than normal kids, and the outdoor playtime helps in overcoming such psychological problems.
Kids with special needs suffer the most from an inability to interact effectively with others. Since playing outdoors is all about teamwork, it provides them with an opportunity to make new friends and interact with them. They share their ideas and listen to others, deal with conflicts that arise during playing and working in a group to meet their goals. They do all this in a low-stress environment and have fun doing so. As a result, they are able to maintain a healthy relationship with their peers due to the improvement of self-confidence, resiliency, and self-advocacy. The process of overcoming challenges in a group helps a great deal in boosting social skills.
Where to Take Kids for Playing Outdoors?
Now, the question is where should you take your kids to play? To be honest, it could be anywhere at all, but where you take them, make sure it's safe enough for playing. There are different types of playground structures that look amazing apparently but are not as safe for outdoor play as they should be. Therefore, first inspect the playground you are taking your kids to. Since they are special, they need extra care. There are some playgrounds that offer an exclusive play area for such children. If you can find such a playground nearby, then it would be beneficial to take them there. If you can not, then do not take a risk and make your home garden their playground and gather neighborhood kids to play with them.