As parents, helping our children develop important skills such as creativity, confidence and problem-solving is of the utmost importance. One of the best ways to nurture these abilities is through independent outdoor play. Offering kids time to explore their environment in a safe setting helps them form self-reliance while also giving them some freedom from adult expectations. In this blog post, Matthew Teeple shows you how to support your child’s development with outdoor play and how it can be beneficial for all members of the family!
Matthew Teeple On How Parents Can Help With Independent Outdoor Play
Tip 1: Be a Responsible Model
The first tip to help your kids with independent outdoor play, as per Matthew Teeple, is to be a responsible model of the behavior that you are trying to teach them. Showing your children how they should properly act and behave while spending time outdoors is essential in helping them understand expectations and safety considerations. Demonstrate proper safety protocols, like wearing protective gear when necessary, checking for hazards before playing, and not engaging in any risky activities without careful consideration. Additionally, make it a priority to respect nature by leaving places untouched and unaltered; encourage your child to do the same. Not only will this set an example for how they should conduct themselves outside, but it will also show them why these behaviors are important.
Tip 2: Create Safe and Accessible Play Areas
Another tip for helping your kids with independent outdoor play is to create safe and accessible play areas. Ensure that the environment is appropriate for the age and skill level of your child; this may include removing any potential hazards or ensuring that there are no objects or obstacles that could be hazardous if played in an inappropriate manner. Additionally, make sure these spaces are easily accessible so that your child can reach them without needing assistance from a parent or guardian. A secure yet open-ended outdoor space will give them ample opportunity to explore their creativity and imagination while engaging in healthy physical activity.
Tip 3: Provide Appropriate Equipment
Providing appropriate equipment can also help foster independent outdoor play. Depending on your child’s age and interests, this may include items like balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, kites or any other outdoor toys that they can safely use by themselves. You should also provide supplies to encourage creativity, like art materials or sensory play tools. Having these options available will allow them to explore their interests in their own way without needing assistance from an adult.
Tip 4: Encourage Creativity
Matthew Teeple’s final tip for helping kids with independent outdoor play is to encourage creativity. Kids need space and freedom to express themselves without judgment or over-direction. Allow them the opportunity to build structures with loose parts and make up imaginative games that play off of their natural surroundings. These types of activities are important for fostering creative thinking and problem-solving skills that will be beneficial beyond childhood.
Matthew Teeple’s Concluding Thoughts
By incorporating these four tips by Matthew Teeple, you can create an environment that encourages your children to engage in independent outdoor play while teaching them important values like responsibility and respect. Doing so will help foster a lifelong appreciation for nature and the great outdoors, setting them up for success down the road!