Summer Fun So Far!
This summer has been wonderful so far! We've spent lots of time outside: playing with the splash pads, taking walking field trips, and even doing some outdoor dining- in the courtyard! The children have been truly soaking up the sun.
Although it seems like just fun and games, the benefits of outdoor play for young children are remarkable. It's obvious how playing outdoors affords opportunities for gross motor development as children run, jump, climb, lift, etc. But in addition to all that, outdoor play builds social-emotional and academic skills as well. Unstructured outside time gives children the chance to practice collaboration, problem solving, and safe risk taking. Academically, the children use math, science, and language skills in a real world context when they are engaged in outdoor play. When a child is digging a hole deep enough for their toy truck, they are using math skills to estimate depth and width. When a child is placing different objects in the water table, they are experimenting with volume and buoyancy. When a child is planning a game with a friend, they are using descriptive language. With longer periods of unstructured outdoor play during summer camp, we observe that the children initially tear out of the door running at top speed- fulfilling that gross motor need- but given time, the children settle into elaborate imaginative and exploratory play. It's very striking to watch as large motor play subsides, deep concentration and collaboration set in.
Here are some links to articles that extoll the benefits of outdoor play:
Have a look at all the fun and learning your child has been doing outside:
The children enjoyed eating lunch al fresco.
We even celebrated Jack's birthday this month!
We took a walk to the Schuykill Banks where we read a book and the children watched the river.