Playing outdoors…at school
May 13, 2019 | Guylaine Bergeron
In the era of tablets, smart phones and screens of all kinds, it is often difficult to convince children to go play outside. Yet playing outside during any season has nothing but beneficial effects.
More and more schools organize their space outdoors to encourage playing and even learning outside. The large spaces in the school yards have always favoured games with balls and other motor skill activities, but more and more institutions are organizing grassy areas with trees, small islands of sand, water games and furniture to gather and teach outside. Otherwise there is always the park or a woodsy area nearby.
Among the benefits of outdoor play, there is evidence that fresh air and contact with nature stimulates a good mood.
Physically, children are more active and develop their motor skills thanks to the varied environments...a definite advantage for children who have a surplus of energy.
Furthermore, the elements of nature stimulate creativity. Children explore their surroundings and create new activities with everything they find around them. Spontaneous finds such as an insect or rocks with particular looks are all opportunities for learning.
Being allowed to handle materials that are a little bit messy is attractive and can awaken the senses.
There is a wide range of materials on the market designed for outdoor play. The simple water tray and sandbox have evolved into more sophisticated activity tables that allow all kinds of experiences using the elements of nature.
Our country has the advantage of having a nature that changes constantly over the seasons, which offers children many opportunities for discoveries. To fully take advantage of it, create your learning experiences outdoors!