Letters to the Editor

Children need outdoor play time during school day

Outside play is essential to the growth and development of our children. Taking away a child’s right to explore the outdoors during the school day can cause lasting negative effects on a child’s growth and development.

When children are denied the right to play outside, they are less likely to fully focus in their classroom. This can cause them to feel anxious, depressed, isolated, and negative toward school. Grades can also be affected because of these feelings, which puts the child behind academically and makes them feel insecure.

The benefits to children being free to explore the outdoors far outweigh that of keeping them in a classroom all day. When outside, a child is free to problem solve and use their imagination in a limitless environment. They utilize their fine and gross motor skills while socializing and communicating with their peers. Giving a child this time outdoors allows them to enter back into the classroom with a refreshed mind and body ready to take on their academic challenges.

Children have lifelong benefits from being enriched with outside playtime during their early years. It is important that we do not strip them of their right to grow physically and emotionally by keeping them in the classroom all day. A child’s academic performance and physical well being will only improve by allowing them to leave the classroom, de-stress, and explore the outdoors.

Jennifer Smith, lead teacher, Bright Futures Daycare & Preschool