14th September, 2011 - Posted by - 6 Comments
Editor’s Note: Readers of this blog know two things for sure: 1) We are HUGE proponents of outdoor play and learning, and 2) We are also HUGE fans of Jenny Kable and her work.
I love Jenny’s call to action at the end of this post, and it couldn’t me more true. It is up to those of us in the field to help parents understand and value outdoor play-based learning for its incredible benefits not only to their children’s education, but to their overall health and well being.
Just look at the motor development and skill building — and physical activity — going on in these photos. Talk about a promising practice! We know the research tells us that outdoor play increases moderate to vigorous physical activity more than indoor play, and I would say these pictures back the research up!
More than any worksheet or glittery art project that will ever hang on a refrigerator, the experiences of outdoor play and exploring nature will impact children in so many ways, and across every developmental domain. ~ Bethe
When you’re three you dearly want to climb, but sometimes your little legs won’t get you up that first step and you need a little boost.
What looks like a simple episode of outdoor play is actually a pretty big deal. This is competence and resilience in action. The boys faced a challenge and instead of asking for help they assessed the problem and acted by developing a plan and adapting it to the situation as it unfolded.
There is so much happening here - teamwork; persistence; creative thinking; carrying out a plan; taking risks; feeling successful; being independent - and yet outdoor moments like these can be over looked and underestimated by adults in favour of skills like reading and writing.
Unlike writing your name, these skills aren’t easy to measure or test. They can’t be taken home and shown to grandparents and hung on the fridge.
And yet it is these skills rather than the ability to write your name that will stand children in good stead when they make the big transition to school - and indeed throughout their life.
It is up to us to make these moments as glamorous for parents as a name written on a piece of artwork. It is up to us to give learning through play the ‘wow’ factor that it deserves.
Stay tuned… Jenny
Blogger Bio: Jenny Kable is an early childhood educator, teaching and learning from children in a progressive preschool setting nestled in the beautiful Australian bush. Her blog, Let The Children Play, is filled with wonderful ideas and inspiration for educators, caregivers and parents alike. Jenny is a favorite blogger around here! You can also follow her on Twitter@preschoolplay.