Summer is upon us, with the weather getting warmer everyday, our Jasper friends have been spending increased amounts of time exploring our community and utilizing as well as developing our gross motor skills at a variety of parks and play structures. It is essential that young children get frequent and regular opportunities to explore and learn in the outdoor environment.
In recent years there has been a cultural shift in our society that has reduced the access and use of outdoors for many young children. Contributory factors include increased fear amongst adults in relation to children’s safety and technological advances leading to an overwhelming prominence of more sedentary indoor activities, such as television, video and computer games. The reasoning behind expanding outdoor play is as follows, it encompasses taking every opportunity to take young children beyond their immediate indoor environment:
- Learning outside the classroom supports the development of healthy and active lifestyles by offering children opportunities for physical activity, freedom and movement, and promoting a sense of well-being.
- Learning outside the classroom gives children contact with the natural world and offers them experiences that are unique to outdoors, such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons.
- Playing and learning outside also helps children to understand and respect nature, the environment and the interdependence of humans, animals, plants, and lifecycles.
- Outdoor play also supports children’s problem-solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for their developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
- Children need an outdoor environment that can provide them with space, both upwards and outwards, and places to explore, experiment, discover, be active and healthy, and to develop their physical capabilities.
These are the ideals behind which our Jasper room educators strive to achieve, we are constantly allowing the children to wander beyond their indoor environment in order for their outdoor development to continue expanding. The results thus far have been filled with seeing the children expand their imaginations and increase their adventurous spirits.
We hope that you all have a wonderful weekend filled with adventures. 🙂 See you on Monday!