Dr Amanda Gummer Says... Mum
Dr. Amanda Gummer has dedicated her life to working with children and families in a variety of settings since 1993. As well as running a family support charity in London and teaching children...
Your Outdoor, Active Play Questions Answered!
We all know how much Peppa Pig loves to jump in muddy puddles, but it’s not all fun and games! Outdoor play is essential for your child’s mental and physical development, which is why we called in our expert for a special report during UKMums.tv’s Peppa Pig week.
Our resident expert, Dr Gummer is a spokesperson behind the British Toy and Hobby Association’s Make Time To Play campagin and so we asked her to expand on last month’s report and explain more about why active outdoor play, and toys which promote this are so important:
Q. Why is it important for children to play outside?
A. Outdoor play tends to be more energetic and active which helps children’s physical development. It also gives them a chance to enjoy the fresh air and sights and sounds of the outdoors, and for parents means that there’s not a load of mess to clear up in the living room. It also provides important balance to the time children spend doing sedentary things such as watching television or playing computer games. A healthy balance of play is a key factor in healthy child development.
Q. What should I look for in outdoor activities?
A. Try and make sure the activities are child-led and make the best use of the outdoor space. Promoting child-led play will ensure the activity appeals to the child and is appropriate for the age and stage of development of the child. Outdoor toys should be versatile – the more different types of play that a toy can be used for, the more it will be played with (e.g. alone, with friends) and don’t be afraid to mix and match toys with natural play props (sticks, leaves etc) to promote imagination and creativity.
Q. At what age can a child be left to play outside unsupervised?
A. It all depends on the situation, toddlers can play in a safe garden when parents are watching from the kitchen window whilst doing the washing up, but many parents don’t feel comfortable letting children play out of sight or ear shot until they’re at least 8. There are no hard or fast rules about this, the best thing to children develop independence gradually. Making the garden a fun and interesting place to be is a good way to encourage them to be outside without needing to make endless trips to the park.
You can enjoy the fun of the outdoors even if it’s raining with the new Peppa Pig Outdoor Fun playsets from Character Options, for more information and chances to win the playsets, head over to the Peppa Pig page now!