There are countless benefits to outdoor play, but over the last decade we’ve experienced a real cultural shift in our society that’s reduced the access and use of outdoors for many young children.
A number of factors are blamed, including 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 and computer games.
However, the developmental needs of young children have remained constant and the outdoor environment continues to be essential to their health, development and wellbeing.
You will find examples of Early Years settings that are taking the whole classroom outside and based all the children’s learning in an outdoor environment, which is a very novel and unique approach, and when you think about all the benefits to being outside you can start to understand why.
There is a lot more freedom associated with being outside. The environment is a lot more stimulating and rich with loads of different sensory experiences for the children.
You’ll find that children feel less inhibited outside too, and can be more willing to join in activities and come out of their shell.
Also, being outside gives children more space to move and be physically active.
Exercise is clearly an essential component of children’s physical and emotional development, and one of the significant benefits of choosing an Early Years setting that takes outdoor learning seriously.
Is it time for you to re-think about the amount of time that a child’s learning is based outside?
The Sport Xplorers team!