Over the course of the last few years, scientist and research institutions have conducted rigorous research on the impacts of staying indoor for too long and have come up with a term called Cabin Fever. Cabin fever is a mental condition which develops as a result of staying indoors for extensive periods of time and is characterized by irritability and restlessness. Apart from that, other physical problems arising from lack of outdoor exposure lead to poor physical health as it adversely affects homeostasis and fuels deficiency among which Vitamin D deficiency is the most noteworthy. Outdoor exposure is vital for health and well being of both children and adults as it serves as a mean to boost health, regulate blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones
In present times when the pandemic and in turn school and leisure spaces closure has led to confinement of children within their safe abodes, it is highly necessary to indulge them in safe outdoor activities so as to keep gloomy thoughts a bay, regulate their physical health and also help them make the most of their time utilizing their energies in constructive manner. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the national public health agency in United States of America has stressed upon the importance of outdoor physical activities by recommending socially distant activities for physical health of children. Research proves that children who are deprived of outdoor activities in their early years have a higher tendency to become obese as adults.
Outdoor activities can be made more fun by incorporating outdoor toys in the child’s regime such as garden toys, bi- and tri-cycles, playhouses, trampolines, slides and see saws etc. Outdoor toys in summers are more interesting due to incorporation of elements of water sports as well as swimming and splash pools. These toys not only keep children occupied in fun activities but also help them explore and understand the outdoor world.
Children who are too young to walk on their own and explore the world on their own must also be introduced to Mother Nature for their nurturing. At this age, the child can be loaded on to a baby carriage, baby pram or a baby stroller and given a tour around the neighborhood park and block so that the baby can witness and explore their environment. As the child grows, a baby walker can be introduced to them so they learn to walk on their own without support. Baby walkers not only incorporate mobility but also independence in a child’s life.
As the child passes more stages of development, more interactive and complex toys can be introduced to fuel a child’s interest and cater their present developmental needs. Starting from kids’ cycles to roller skates and skating boards are equally interesting outdoor sports goods and can keep the kids occupied for long duration of time.
Outdoor play is extremely vital for a child’s cognitive development as well as their physical wellbeing and it can be made more pleasurable by the use of outdoor toys. Hence, its important as caretakers to ensure provision of adequate outdoor play and suitable toys to kids.
Toys are an integral part of every child’s life regardless of their gender. Toys tend to play multiple roles in a child’s life. From serving as an incentive to reward good behavior to providing opportunities for leisure and learning as well as preparing them for roles and actions for their future course of life and assisting their cognitive development; toys play an integral role in shaping a child’s personality. Since the inception of times, toys have been gendered. Toys for boys are typically more technological and action driven as compared to the ones for girls.
Toys for boys are generally stereotypically masculine like guns, figurines, toys, cars and trucks. These toys generally tend to be aimed towards a more action oriented model of play where large groups of boys tend to be involved. As a rule of thumb, boys prefer to play action and adventure oriented sports which not only gives them an adrenaline rush but also allows them to make use of their physical strength and for this very reason boys have an increased affinity for buying toy guns, toys missiles and other toy weapons as well as toy walkie-talkies. This is why boys tend to have their own toy arsenals.
Plenty of young boys have a penchant for cars and it is these boys who spend an overwhelming amount of time indulging in watching car races and hence have an increased affinity for purchasing remote control cars, race tracks, die cast cars and other similar toys. These young boys believe in more is less and tend to buy various different models of cars for their collection.
Boys who prefer to indulge in more constructive and less competitive leisure time activities are more prone to selecting more technique sensitive baby toys such as construction tools and Legos etc. Such toys encourage manipulation and exploration and in turn adequately nurture the physical, cognitive and analytical skills of boys yielding maximum benefit.
While it is important to allow a child to select his own toys to maximize the yield of his leisure time, it is equally important to ensure that the toys meant for boys though action oriented are not hazardous or promote violence. While research claims that masculine toys offer a better opportunity for fostering and polishing the cognitive, physical, and critical thinking skills, it is also important to ensure that toys for boys that tend to illicit violence and aggression must be kept at bay owing to their adverse psychological effects. At the same time efforts need to be driven to ensure that division of toys along the lines of gender be gradually reduced and more gender neutral toys are introduced, as research claims that gender neutral toys foster the optimal development better than the gendered ones.
Outdoor toys in summers are more interesting due to incorporation of elements of water sports as well as swimming and splash pools. These toys not only keep children occupied in fun activities but also help them explore and understand the outdoor world.