It may be turning chilly outside, but the outdoors is one of the best places to explore. From simply wandering out into the garden or going for a walk through the woods, outdoor learning can present so many benefits to your child. Wrap them up warm, pick a suitable spot and see what you can discover!
At Barncliffe Day Nursery, we believe in the importance of outdoor learning. From going on local sensory walks and visiting our very own vegetable garden, to using play equipment such as the sandpit and climbing frame, we make sure the opportunities for learning and development are high. When children are given the opportunity to explore the world around them, they allow their minds to grow and see and experience new things. What are the other benefits that your child can gain from being outdoors?
Improved gross and fine-motor skills.
Gross motor skills involve whole body movement, whereas fine-motor skills are smaller movements in the hands and fingers. When exploring outdoors, children have more room to move and become active. From walking and running to picking up safe objects, children can exercise these skills, which can, in turn, provide some health benefits too.
Promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Outside learning strongly supports the development of a healthy, more active lifestyle. Physical activity and the opportunity to move freely will encourage them to lead more active lives in the future, and allows them to maintain some contact with nature and the outside world, which is also great for an overall positive sense of wellbeing.
Develop self-awareness and confidence.
When children are very young, the outside world can seem big and daunting. The more time children spend outdoors, the more they’ll feel comfortable and confident in the natural world. As a result, they’ll be able to experience different types of weather and our seasons first hand; something that an indoor classroom or playroom can’t offer.
Improves problem-solving skills and creativity.
Being outdoors enables children to experiment and discover new things that they may have never seen or come into contact with before. They may begin to understand why things work and develop their imagination and inventiveness. From newly developed problem-solving skills and creativity, children can transfer this into a classroom setting and keep these crucially important skills for later in life.
Identify safe and unsafe activities.
The more children explore, the more they will be able to learn about the consequences of unsafe activities and learn the positives of safe ones. For example, climbing small rocks unaided may cause young children to fall over or hurt themselves. They will come to learn that activities such as this are unsafe, and probably not a good idea. Other activities like finding creepy crawlies in a garden can feel much more rewarding!
Increases happiness and enjoyment.
Watching a child’s sense of wonder as they discover new things is something that simply cannot be described. This will happen regularly when they actively discover nature and different areas of their environment. New sensory and physical experiences can create so much happiness in a child as well as learning about animals, plants and their life cycles.
Take your child outside and reap the benefits of outdoor learning.
With Christmas and winter just around the corner, wrap up your little ones, find a suitable outdoor space and get exploring! Allowing your child to discover the outside world is so important for their learning and development, and can help them to build on a number of different skills they can keep with them as they grow.
To see how our nursery encourages outdoor learning, take a look at our Nursery Garden. If you would like any information about our nursery or would like to schedule a visit, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!