The importance of outdoor play
There are many studies that show the positive impact that outdoor play has on young children and how these specific features and stimulus of the outdoor environment cannot be replicated inside. The reason for this is because the outdoors provides diverse learning opportunities. The outdoor environment naturally changes. Therefore, each outdoor session brings something new to children. It provides children the opportunity and freedom to explore, experiment, understand the world we live in, as well as developing their physical development and making contact with natural elements.
Outdoor play has major health benefits too. Children need to be exposed to natural light and open air for bone development, stronger immune system and physical activity. For this reason, we take full advantage of our outdoor facilities at Little Crickets Day Care. We really value the outdoors and the health benefits it brings.
From an early age, we encourage children to be active as we believe that this not only benefits children now but also their health at a later stage. With the growing increase of obesity, we encourage children to get into good health habits such as keeping active. When children are outside their sense of discovery guides them to make an emotional connection towards the environment. Ofsted has stated: ‘Nurseries must not shy away from letting children take risks’. In agreement with this, the outdoors enables children to take risks, develop their muscular strength, dexterity and provides fantastic opportunities for children to discover and use their natural instincts to guide them. Stopping children from going on trips, climbing or exploring the outdoors because of ‘safety worries’ is preventing children from learning from their mistakes. Making safer choices is a skill that children need to learn as part of their development.
At Little Crickets, we regularly take children to the forest area which enables them to gain vital skills such as persistence, entrepreneurship, self-knowledge, problem solving, teamwork and negotiating. We encourage children to use natural resources which is a great way to develop their imaginative play. Overall, we strongly value outdoor play at Little Crickets.