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“Stop and put your hand on your chest! How fast is your heart beating?” said the teacher to the group of children who have spent good half an hour outdoor playing freeze tag. Children paused. Some breathing heavy and some sat down on the gravel. They started putting hands to their chest and listened to their body’s rhythm. Children learn best when it is through play like here. Children are learning about self-regulation; they are learning when to take a break and when their body is ready to go back to play. Outdoor play is a beneficial and essential part of childhood. In the article by McCarthy (2018), there are 6 important reasons why outdoor play is essential for children.

1. Sunshine

The author explains that sunshine is crucial for everyone as our body needs exposure to the sun during the day. It is needed to make Vitamin D, “a vitamin that plays a crucial role in many body processes, from bone development to our immune system. Sun exposure also plays a role in our immune system.” Also, children can learn about the concepts such as shadows and temperature.

2. Exercise

It is always to have a good movement to release energy and self-regulate the energy in their bodies. The outdoor play stimulates larger movements that have been limited indoors and it always brings joy. Fresh air and open space allow children to take risks and know about their abilities.

3. Executive Function

The article explains the time of unstructured and solo play and adds “these skills that must be learned and practiced.” Children use their creativity, imagination, and ability to play and use their bodies when outdoor. It also builds self-esteem, physical literacy, focus, and language.

4. Taking Risks

Risk-taking can be challenging for many children as it follows with the feeling of being afraid of the unknown or known. Yet, children need to learn and research their skills and abilities to grow and build their knowledge about their bodies, others, and the world. Sometimes, children may get undesirable results after taking risks yet “that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try; the lessons we learn from failure are just as important as those we learn from success.”

5. Socialization

The most important key idea of childcare after their health and safety is socialization. Children learn so much about the world and others through socialization. They learn about researching the questions together, cooperating, sharing, adapting, and understanding the differences and uniqueness of others and self.

6. Appreciation of Nature

The author articulates that children must see and experience nature and with nature so they can “understand what there is to be lost.” The environment is constantly changing and adapting, children must know and understand the appreciation and showing gratitude to nature.


McCarthy, 2018, Retrieved from

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