Jasper friends have been immersed in a variety of different activities and creating new relationships this week. We have been exploring the neighbourhood more in terms of going for long walks and discovering new spaces to play in such as parks and green spaces. Being outside is the perfect place for kids to be kids with the freedom to shout, jump, run, hop or skip. In fact, by taking your children outdoors and supporting their play, you can help their development. The changing nature of the outdoors makes it an incredibly stimulating and multi-sensory place to play. This is important for young children to learn and gain experience through all their senses.
While getting out and about is exciting, it may be frightening or daunting for some little ones so be aware of new sensations that could startle or alarm them.
A great way to create happy memories of outdoor play and nature is to collect and bring things home, such as twigs, leaves or stones. These can be decorated, put in a keepsake jar or used to make a picture. Keeping items like this in your child’s view for a few days will remind them of their adventures outside and also help with their awareness of shapes, colours and textures. Another aspect of outdoor play stems from building the schema surrounding aesthetics.We can’t underestimate the value of the aesthetic development promoted by being outside. Aesthetic awareness refers to a heightened sensitivity to the beauty around us. Because the natural world is filled with beautiful sights, sounds, and textures, it’s the perfect resource for the development of aesthetics in young children. Preschoolers learn much through their senses. Outside there are many different and wonderful things for them to see (animals, birds, and green leafy plants), to hear (the wind rustling through the leaves, a robin’s song), to smell fragrant flowers and the rain-soaked ground, to touch (a fuzzy caterpillar or the bark of a tree), and even to taste (newly fallen raindrop on the tongue). When it comes to play – especially outdoors – there is no right or wrong way. The best thing is to just get out there and see what the day holds.
Have a great weekend.