Monday, June 21, 2021

3 Ways to Expand your Preschool Child's Potential with Active Outdoor Time


In addition to getting fresh air and making lots of noise, preschool children benefit from outside time in a variety of ways. Maria Montessori recognized the importance of time spent as close to nature as possible, and that is even more true in today’s world of sprawling cities and concrete parking lots. Children learn best when they have opportunities to get outside, even if only for a short time every day.

More Than Exercise

Although physical activity is at the core of going outside, introducing preschoolers to the larger world has benefits that include self-esteem, learning to respect the environment, and gaining an understanding of many basic science concepts such as seasons, places, and things that are found in them.

Motor Skills

Running, jumping, climbing, and throwing all help children build fine and gross motor skills that help them in all of their daily activities. Even small movements like picking up a stone or digging for a worm involve critical muscle control that young children need to develop. The kids may be playing, but they are also learning important skills.

Cognitive Skills

The weather is a wonderful way for children to develop cognitive skills and problem-solving techniques. The kids don’t need to have fancy instruments, only a willingness to pay attention to what they are experiencing when the wind blows on their faces. Similar approaches can be used for leaf collections, learning about insects, or even discovering different types of rocks.

Movement and Learning

Even though it is difficult to define, there is a known link between children’s freedom of movement and their academic achievements. There is no doubt that physical exercise stimulates brain function, and outdoor activity provides a myriad of opportunities for the brain to become engaged with the natural world. In this way, getting outside not only motivates learning, it also offers information for immediate processing.

Children do well when they have plenty of opportunities to get outside. At home, you could try turning off the TV, putting away smartphones, and having a family outing in the local park or state forest. There is a world waiting to be explored, and you can make it happen one adventure at a time.