Unstructured playtime is an essential part of developing many dimensions of intelligence and creativity. And if that playtime happens outdoors—preferably in a natural setting, even if it’s a small urban park—that’s even better. Outdoor playtime opens up a world of possibilities for kids that can expand their imagination, stimulate all their senses, and free their spirits in ways that structured indoor activities and screentime can never do.
Stacey Loscalzo has written in the article I’ve attached here about twenty different ways that outdoor play helps raise smarter kids. She starts with a quote from clinical psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison: “Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.”
In her list of ways outdoor play fosters kids’ intelligence, Loscalzo includes multi-sensory stimulation; the combination of formal and informal play where kids can incorporate concepts they’ve learned elsewhere in a hands-on way; the ways outdoor play stimulates creativity; and the important anxiety-reducing dimension of being in nature.