Do you remember being sent outside as a child to “blow the stink off” and get some fresh air?
There was a time when many of us were expected to be outside playing all day long and to only come inside if we were bleeding. In those days, we didn’t have the Internet and electronic devices luring us back inside. We had our imaginations, space to run, and if we were lucky, a friend or sibling to play with.
Today’s generation of children isn’t enjoying this same experience. Children are spending more time in front of screens than they are, running around outside. And that’s just how things go. Their parents are busy working, often they’re rushing from activity to activity, and many homes are just so busy that getting out to play doesn’t seem to fit onto the family schedule!
As ECEs, we’re in a wonderful position to bring the children in our centres outdoors for experiences they may not enjoy at home.
One of our core mandates here at Shining Lights is to encourage a return to nature because getting children outdoors is like a magic elixir!
Children who play outside experience so many different learning opportunities, because the “classroom” is constantly changing! Their fine and gross motor skills improve. They learn to respect and love nature. They gain confidence through their adventures and begin to understand their place in the world.
We will be adding resources to our library for you to use in your centre and to share with parents to make your job easier. (For instance, guides to dressing children appropriately for the elements.)
As a member of our community, you can help us to create resources that will be most useful to you! Please comment with your ideas, thoughts, and even frustrations that you experience around getting your children outdoors.
In the meantime, check out this blog post from Lisa’s Playhouse for some great tips about outdoor play in the winter!