Is Outside Play For Children Safer than Inside Play?


It might seem obvious for us parents to believe that inside play for our children is safer than outside.
We think that at home or a playgroup in a room our children can play with the toys or any device.

Boy playing outside
You say to yourself that it is quite secure, and safer. So, I can have a look on them and not being worried as there is no risk of a huge danger.


But, can you be that sure?
Is inside play really safer than outside play?
What might first seem obvious worth checking out whether it’s true or not.
And, it’s definitely not what we think!
If we look at carefully on our experience as parents, we will discover than outside could be much safer than inside.
How come?


More obstacles inside

Think about it, at home, there are so many things that children can bump into.
There is no day passes that my son doesn’t hit his head either under the table or a corner of a furniture.
Ideally, it will be better to have less pieces of furniture to avoid any incident. But, it doesn’t mean the area will be a zone free accident.
My son is always up for something. I cannot expect him to sit quietly and play.
Well, I wish!
But, this is not going to happen.
He loves jumping on the sofa. He enjoys sitting at the edge of the arm rest.
Needless to mention that he likes climbing over anything, a chair, table, and at the highest part of the sofa (if you can picture what I am talking about).
My son has recently for habit to climb up a stool in order to play on the kitchen counter.
This can be dangerous as a knife can hang there while I am cooking.
Fortunately, I am always next to him and as soon as he comes to the counter, I remove anything that could be unsafe for him.

In addition, by staying at home, there is chance that my son request to watch the big screen. Even though, he only watch nursery rhymes on Youtube, he stills have a sedentary position for at least 30 minutes.
Also, another indoor place such as a room at a playgroup, there are obstacles as well. Surely, there are less furniture but children can still have incident.
My son loves playing with the electricity switch. And, he likes putting his fingers in the socket. So, as you can imagine, this is quite dangerous.
At indoor play, my son can easily hit a wall or slide on toys with wheels.

Moreover, somehow your concentration is different when you’re indoor.

Attention is not the same

Inside, you kind of take things for granted.
From a parent point of view, your attention is a bit different. In your mind, you think you are in a safe environment.
Of course, we are but anything can happen as you are well aware of.

I suppose for my son, it might be the same thinking. For instance,
he loves sprinting from the kitchen to the reception room back and forth many time without paying attention what is on his way.
I can see he’s is not very focus when he runs all over a room.


When I am at home, I can go from a room to another just for a minute or less. Outside, I cannot let him go far away if I don’t see him.
He must be in my sight.


A boy playing with toys in the sand

Outside has more advantages than Inside


I met last Sunday a man who manages a outside play called Grow wild. It is designed in a naturalistic style. There are wooden bridges, tunnel and slides and other things that children can play with. This manager runs this place alongside with taking care of children in a nursery.
He told me that in over 2 years, he has only 2 incidents outside in comparison to inside play where it is more constant.

More cautious

As they are outside, the focus is different. The reference point they may have from home can not be found in a public place. So, they act with cautious.
They can more or less notice there are some uncertainty there.
Even when they are very little like my son. I’ve noticed that when we walked on that shaky wooden bridge, I saw him proceeding with care.
It is definitely safer to play outside because the chance to hit a wall or a foundation made in hard material is minimal.
It is healthier

Generally speaking, having regular physical activity is vital for early childhood growth and development.


According to The Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, a child aged 1 to 4 should accumulate at least 180 minutes of physical activities.
You can read here, the full guideline.
And of course, for instance, when playing outside, my son is more active than playing inside.
He can run longer distance. He loves climbing hills either to reach a slide or just for going up and down.

Anyway, by being just outside he can breathe fresh air which is good for cleaning the lungs and bringing more oxygen into the cells.
Also, they can be exposed to natural light, a great source of vitamin D.

There are further advantages to opt for playing outside…
Mental benefits
Studies showed that when a child play outside, the brain develops much faster than if he was inside.
Why? Because his imagination is more active.
My son loves playing in the sand, in the water if any, or pick up a stick. Who knows what he’s thinking or imagining?
And apparently, by having a resourceful imagination they become good learners and eventually problem solvers which consequently enable them to be more sociable and attracting more friends.
Finally, the advantages are greater and safer outdoor than indoor play. I always do my best that my son plays at least 1 hour every day in a park or in the garden.

And you, what are your thought about outside and inside play?
Please share you comment here. Thank you in advance.



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