Lets go outside!

Lets go outside!

This month’s blog post is written by Mel, our Deputy Lead Practitioner and Safeguarding Officer. Mel is passionate about the benefits of outdoor play in the early years.

Did you know……..?

The outdoor environment offers unique stimulus that capture children’s attention and interests.  Sticks, stones, flowers, soil and water etc can be explored with curiosity and drive them to learn, they offer lots of open-ended play opportunities that respond to a child’s imagination and needs. With the endless possibilities for objects of play, it is possible to promote skills relating to creativity, problem solving and divergent thinking.

Children in the outdoor environment are often able to show different aspects of their personality and the freedom of space allows for more cooperation with others and less conflict.  During this more cooperative play it is possible to develop empathy as they become more aware of other people’s feelings and needs

A culture of fear often leads us to underestimate what children are capable of and this can be detrimental to their learning as they may not have the experience of how to stay safe.  In the outdoor environment they have the opportunity to exceed personal limits such as climbing trees or using tools.  They should be able to experience moments of failure and success and to learn by trial and error.

Exploration of natural elements builds a child’s attention to the diversity of nature. The sense of discovery and fascination influences meaningful learning and allows for the development of an emotional connection to the environment.  Outdoor play is able to promote education in its broadest sense.  Activities related to soil and water such as emptying and filling containers offer learning opportunities related to maths, science and language.

In conclusion, outdoor play is beneficial in so many ways to a child’s development.  Just think about how YOU feel when allowed the time and space to be outside to explore, think, feel and just be……..