How outdoor play builds resilience in children

Posted by Michael MOE, 28 October, 2020

What is resilience and why is it important?

Resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to ‘bounce back’ from adversity or difficulties, or as others may call it, your ‘character’. It is a skill we hope to have when it is called upon and a skill that we should strive to teach children. They will learn to ‘try’ again if at first, they don’t succeed in something and make mistakes, and understanding they can try again and improve.

By developing resilience in children, they can learn that mistakes and challenges don’t define them and that they can try again and improve. Where better to explore resilience, than in an inspiring outdoor space!

Outdoor play significantly aids to develop resilience and helps to encourage self-belief and self- control. By being outdoors children develop a deeper connection with the outdoor environment and gain the social skills to enjoy and explore with others.

Keeping children active not only increases physical fitness, it also increases resilience and strengthens the brain. Research has proven that regular exercise now provides comparable results to that of medication when treating mild to moderate mental health problems, providing our ‘fight or flight’ response an ability to recover more efficiently.

Children can learn to be adventurous during outdoor play by trying new things which will build upon their resilience in new situations. Children develop resilience further as they build on new relationships and take risks in new situations.

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