The Wonderful World of Kindergarten

Welcome to our Reggio Emilia inspired classroom at Dr. David Suzuki School.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Why We Need To Play Outdoors

The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; 
the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.
~Erik H. Erikson~

In the wonderful world of kindergarten, we really believe in
the value of outdoor play.

We could go on and on about the many studies that show result after result telling us that children who spend most of their time in outdoor play are healthier, smarter and happier.

We could tell you that their connection to their world is stronger...

...and their learning is so much more meaningful.

We could tell you how they notice every detail and take in their world
with every one of their senses... they explore their environment.


And that the children become risk-takers and challenge themselves.


And that their muscles are alive with energy and momentum
as they climb a tree or race down a hill.
We could tell you that learning doesn't stop in play...
...but rather, playing with what you've learned 
makes the learning fun
and ignites the spark of a lifelong learner.

We could tell you that full and empty is easier to understand
in the sand and dirt
than at a carpet.

And balance and motion are easier to understand
 when your body is feeling it.
We could tell you that confidence begins atop a big mushroom.

And fast is just the right speed some of the time.

And little spaces...

...are perfect places
for friendly faces.
 Even block buildings and... cooking take on deeper connections
...when it happens outside.
We could tell you how these delicious soups, and pies, and cakes are made.
But those are the secret recipes of childhood.
We could tell you about the timid child
who loves the game of Duck, Duck, Goose
and gathers two 'safe' friends and a volunteer
and how we watch the circle of play partners grow wider and wider
and excite onlookers and travellers by.
We could tell you about the exploration of wet and dry chalk...

...or mud kitchen menus

...or sunny morning songs and their inspired beating in time to the rhythm of imagination.
We could tell you how the reading of Red Leaf Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
takes on so much more significance at the top of Suzuki hill...

And how the children's conversation becomes as alive as the trees
that scatter our fields..
And that their language is as colourful as the autumn leaves...
 And wild field flowers.

We could tell you that one outside play table becomes a home for worms, a nest building centre, a fairies waterfall, a painted playground...
and so much more.

And that unbridled joy is the constant expression of each child
when we are outside.

Except for those times when in deep discovery and wonder.
We could tell you that the fine art of etching gathered leaves takes just the right amount of pressure when rubbing and is an interesting contrast to the twigs, pebbles and ground that surround them.
We could tell you that an outdoor art easel reveals a
distinct outdoor thinking.
 We could tell you so many things about the value of outdoor play,
but like the saying goes...
A picture is worth a thousand words.

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