Children who play outdoors and in groups often have a head-start in social situations. They may be more emotionally resilient, less anxious socially, and better at establishing nurturing, protective and lasting relationships with their peers.
- In situation where children have to deal with each other without direct supervision, they have to be socially adaptable. Playing together in both competitive and non-competitive situations presents opportunities for learning how to cooperate and overcome conflicts.
- The ability to join and participate in social activities from an early age, and to think of oneself as an active member of a group, can help to prevent children from ending up in situations where they feel isolated, now and in the future, and to combat feelings of powerlessness, depression and low self-esteem.
- Connection to local environments through outdoor play enhances community values, strengthens relational bonds and provides everyone involved with stronger networks of support.
- The same values and benefits are felt in the family. Parents and kids who take the time to foster their connections through shared play and engagement with the outdoors can develop deepen their relationships and experience deeper communication.
Note: Information presented here is based on research findings, reports and literature views from leading UK and US charities and education organizations. You can access these reports at Play England and the Children & Nature Network.