Fresh Air, Fun, and Exploration: Why Outdoor Play Is Essential for Healthy Development
Educating children in nature is an essential part of active, engaging, and comprehensive learning. While not a new concept or approach, direct and sustained interactions with nature may be increasingly important for children’s development today.
Winter is coming! And even in the slush, sleet and snow, spending time outside is essential for our overall well-being. Giving our children four full seasons of meaningful time outdoors unlocks mental, physical and emotional growth that is too important to miss. But identifying and affording the right gear (not to mention getting it on our children) can be daunting. *A great article to share with your families!
"Loose parts" is a wonderful term coined by architect Simon Nicholson, who carefully considered landscapes and environments that form connections. Nicholson believed that we are all creative and that “loose parts” in an environment will empower our creativity. Many play experts and early childhood educators adapted the theory of loose parts.
Last Child in the Woods (Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder)
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder is a 2005 book by author Richard Louv that documents decreased exposure of children to nature in American society and how this "nature-deficit disorder" harms children and society.
Play-based learning for children encouraged by educators (2018)
Recent years have seen a push for play-based learning in early education centres worldwide.
In fact, it’s part of New York state’s new standards for early learners, encouraging play and “active, joyful engagement”.It’s nothing new for early-learning researchers, as years of research have shown just how important play is for early childhood development, and they have suggested incorporating it into early education.
Access our Nature-Based Play Resource List on the Keystone Kids Go website.
Check out "Inspiring Nature-Based Early Learning" webinar here.
*Information on how to receive PQAS credit for this webinar coming soon.
Looking for more information?
Technical Assistance Coach Elizabeth Marcello and Outdoor Learning & Play Consultant Susan Chlebowski can partner with you to provide center-based or individual classroom coaching and professional development in the topics of play-based learning, nature-based learning, classroom management and challenging behavior support, or innovative solutions to barriers. Complete a Coaching Request through your PD Registry Organization Page to request coaching.
*For early learning providers in ELRCs 8, 9, and 10 only.
Do you have a topic you'd like to see covered in this newsletter? What have you tried that others might be interested in? Please consider sharing your questions, ideas, or stories with us below, and we will include them in an upcoming newsletter!