Playing outside may seem like all fun and games - but when you think about it, children are learning so much by being active in the open outdoor environment.
- preschoolers practice and master emerging physical skills like, running, leaping, jumping, ball-handling, catching, lifting objects, pulling and carrying.
- children burn more calories outside which helps prevent obesity
- outdoor light affects the pineal gland, the part of the brain that regulates the biological clock and is vital to the immune system
- outdoor games encourage communication skills and vocabulary
- children have an improved aesthetic awareness, an appreciation of the beauty around us
- being outside stimulates other senses like hearing (bird song, wind rustling), smell (fragrance of flowers, mud, plants), and touch (tree bark, grass, snow)
- being outside lets children be loud, messy, and boisterous - have fun with fewer limitations
- A nature walk is a great way to enhance children’s appreciation of the natural environment. Ask them to tell you what they're seeing, hearing, and smelling. Encourage them to touch – to discover the smoothness of a rock, the roughness of bark, and the fragility of a dried leaf. For young children, these are science experiences.
- Set up an obstacle course with old tires, large appliance boxes, and tree stumps. Moving through it will teach important concepts like over, under, through, and around.
- A "listening" walk makes for a wonderful sound discrimination activity. As you walk with the children, point out the sounds of birds, passing cars, whistling wind, even your footsteps on the sidewalk. What sounds can the children identify on their own? Which are loud and which are soft? Which are high and which are low? What are their favorite sounds? Bring along a tape recorder so the children can try to identify the sounds at a later time!
- Bring the parachute or an old sheet outside and play parachute games (shaking it, circling with it, making waves with it, or bouncing foam balls on it).
- Bring a portable boom box outdoors and let the children experience the joy of dancing in a natural environment!
- Try "water painting," in which children paint the side of a building with a brush and a bucket of water. It exercises arms and upper torso while also teaching about wet and dry, light and dark, and evaporation.
- Chasing bubbles gives children a chance to run!
Call us to find our more about our exceptional educational programs, including our award winning Nature Explore classroom. 705-733-2052 Visit our website to learn more..