Children need games to develop their motor, cognitive and social skills, learn to establish rules through dialogue and negotiation while developing their body and mind, as well as training skills such as balance, precision, strength, spatial orientation or rhythm.
On the other hand, games also contribute in children to form appropriate social attitudes, such as respect, tolerance, and teamwork. Through the team, sports children understand that working together can achieve better results. On the other hand, playing in a team is more fun and exciting, since sharing activities with other children of the same age helps them feel part of a group that supports and values them.
In short, this process contributes to the balance of self-esteem and the formation of healthy habits. Children who play often spend less time playing with computers or the video game console and this reduces their sedentary lifestyle and offers them a habit that will allow them to control their weight and health when they are teenagers. Regarding the latter aspect, outdoor games are a very healthy alternative for children to breathe air without pollution and establish frequent contact with nature. In this way, we will achieve that at the same time that they have fun they can learn to know, respect and value the ecosystem in which they live.
We will review the most fun and exciting games for children, without forgetting their learning and education, depending on the place where we practice them.
Taking care of the place where we live, we will have more facility to go to the beach or the countryside to play with our children. If we belong to a coastal city, the seashore or the promenade are ideal places to develop the habit of outdoor play.
In many of the country’s beaches, there are already games facilities, such as routes to perform obstacle courses, skating or skateboard tracks, bike paths or volleyball and beach soccer fields. In any case, if we do not have a beach, the pool was perfect conditions for playing outdoors in an aquatic environment.
On the other hand, if our reference beach does not have these facilities, we can create them ourselves using simple materials. Thus, some stones can be converted into the goalposts or the steps of an obstacle course, but also in the center of a bulls-eye aiming to imitate the game of petanque. Nor should we forget the classic star activities of the beach: swimming in the sea, diving to observe the fish, catch conches, build sand castles or play the ball or paddles in the water. And, of course, whenever we have good weather we can take our juggling, practice with them and end the day with a war of water pistols or a refreshing bath.
The field is also a fascinating place to play outdoors since it allows us to have ample space to run, hide and enjoy the scenery. Thus, the first dynamic that we come to mind being in the field with children are the classic game of catch- up, the hideout, English chick, board games and ball sports. Planning a day outdoors in the mountain can be educational too, so take the kids to learn while having fun.
Here are some examples of educational games to perform in the field:
- Photographic safari: locate and photograph different animal or vegetable species. We can look for insects and then compare them with each other or compete to see who takes more pictures of flowers of different colors.
- Bird watching: depending on the field we visit, it is likely that if we place ourselves in a space that allows us to look at the sky, we will see some birds in flight.
- Hiking: walking through a country route and having a picnic lunch is an enjoyable and healthy practice that the whole family can practice. To do this, you just have to choose a path that adapts, due to its difficulty and extension, to the physical state of all the members that are going to carry it out.
- Juggling: in the shade of a grove of trees we will find a comfortable space to practice our favorite tricks without damaging the objects, thanks to the fact that the earth and the grass of the ground will cushion their falls.
Finally, when considering the theme of outdoor games, we cannot forget that in the city there are also numerous places for children to have fun, such as playgrounds, gardens, centers that organize children’s activities and the esplanades and squares of the neighborhoods.
One of the popular city games is Nerf war. In this nerf war the Nerf gun Kids recreates the game sensation of competitive nerf war, awakens the spirit of overcoming children and forces them to organize as a team since that is the key to winning. The rules of the games are a mixture of the rules of competition of nerf gun with the rules of American football. The goal is to eliminate the opposing team to get points, each time a group marks a point, and then they restart the game to make another game. In 60 minutes of the game, it usually takes time to do 15 to 20 games. To win the nerf war they always try to use their best nerf gun and the result goes to that team which has good plan, combination, good health of the team members as well as good nerf gun.
These environments are the ideal place to teach our children the classic games with which we had fun when we were little: the spinning top, the hopscotch (or the yew ), the diabolic, the skipping rope, the hula hoop, the juggling … We can also build our toys with recycled objects and enjoy them in a place close to home.
This practice has an essential advantage, which is that it reduces the time it can take to travel to the beach or the countryside, making it easier to practice during the week or on days when there is little time available. However, any place will be good to play outside if we do it taking care of the proximity to the roads and offering different alternatives of play to our children.