The importance of outside play
We joke a lot at RiiRoo, it's just something we like to do. Ours is a fun company and we are in the business of fun. But we can be serious too. We often have a laugh at tablets, smartphones and technology and the way they affect our children's lives, but today we'd like to look at just how important outdoor play is to our kids.
We all know it is really, I mean deep down we all understand that it's an important part of growing up, but is there more to it? Are there any dangers in staying indoors and shying from the fresh air?
We think there is.
As a species, we are largely self-taught. Sure, we learn from our parents and from our peers, but we also learn from experience (or at least we should). Our senses are awake to nature and we discover flora and fauna, shapes, scents and sounds which will stay with us forever. The more time we spend out side, the more we learn about this world and the keener our skills will become. In time we'll learn the names of flowers, which fruits are safe to eat and we can even learn to make tools and structures.
We are unique on this planet in many ways, but one of our greatest gifts is that of imagination. Imagination allows us to forge ideas into tools. A stick can be a rifle or a bridge, a tree can be an enemy base or home to the wee folk. Outside play focusses our imagination and allows us to use it in real life environments.
Away from the safety of the living room, we learn essential life skills like glass cuts, falling is painful and how to get out of the mud. Outside, we learn to avoid barbed wire, thorns and splinters and we do it by taking risks. We climb trees, we build log cabins we run too fast on the gravel. We earn our cuts and bruises and only when the cuts are too deep or the bone is actually broken do we run for the safety of home. Outside we learn through play and through social interaction. While at home we learn mostly what the Ad-men want to tell us.
Outside and free from grown-ups we learn to socialise. These are our proving grounds and the time we spend in this wilderness teaches us valuable life lessons about trust, camaraderie, honesty and fair play. Children learn to work together and in doing so they form bonds that can last life times.
As Stephen King once wrote, “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve... does anyone?”
In conclusion, we stand by our mission statement, we stand by our words, kids belong outdoors. It doesn't matter if they are climbing trees, riding hover-boards or building ramps for their dirt bikes... kids need the outdoors just as much as we did and what harm did it do us?
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