We have all reached that point in the day when we say “we need to get these children outside!!”
‘Burning some energy’, ‘letting off steam’, ‘outside voices’, ‘crazy half hour’, ‘a run around’.
We often misbelieve outdoor play and activities provide a ‘break’ from learning and a change of scene to allow the children to refocus. So are we missing the importance of outdoor play and the opportunities it provides in early years development and learning?
Many of the developmental tasks that children must achieve can be most effectively learned through outdoor play, such as;
- Fine and gross motor development
- Gaining independence
- Learning about the world around us and developing an appreciation of our environment and nature,
- Exploring and risk taking
- Encouraging an active lifestyle.
Outdoor play is being increasingly compromised through our continued change in busy lifestyles and culture of excessive screen time, unsafe neighbourhoods, and reduced access to outdoor space and resources. Which is why it is so important to mix outdoor and indoor play together when planning your early years activities.