In today’s world, children do not always get the opportunities to really connect with nature. Therefore, we embrace nature based play across all the Kids Play Day Nurseries & Pre-Schools.
Inside and out, we provide children with endless opportunities. The rich learning environments ensure that all five senses are stimulated, and children develop an understanding for our natural world and how to care for it.
It’s our privilege to make learning an adventure and in this article, we will look in-depth at the benefits of nature based play for young children.
First and foremost, it is important to give children the opportunity to explore outdoor learning environments. Across our Day Nurseries & Pre-Schools we encourage free-flow to the outdoors, where children can explore the private gardens as they wish.
Children benefit from lots of fresh air, which can give children extra energy and mental focus. There are also signs of increased vitamin D from frequently being outdoors, which can lead to a healthier body, mind and lifestyle.
Physical & Mental Well-being
Children who spend more time outside being active tend to be fitter and are at a decreased risk of being overweight. Gross motor skills also improve during outdoor play whilst doing fun activities such as running, jumping over puddles, or climbing trees. It is obviously essential to balance risk and safety; however, it is important for a child to feel challenged through to develop their learning.
Being outside and given the chance to explore, run and make noise boosts endorphins and results in many mental health benefits. Children who play in natural settings are more resistant to stress, have lower risk of behavioural disorders, anxiety, and depression, whilst also having a higher measure of self-worth.
Boosts Creativity and builds confidence
Being exposed to many natural materials will ultimately help to boost creativity in young minds. The rich learning environments enable children to experiment with different materials each day, which also prevents a lack of concentration and boredom. Each day of playing outdoors brings its own challenges and experiences for young children.
These experiences offer real, genuine learning like nothing else can. Children will take many supported risks, and although they might not always succeed, they will be encouraged to try again, resulting in building characteristics such as resilience and confidence.
Improved Social Skills
Nursery & Pre-School is often the first opportunity for young children to mix with others and build friendships. Our natural world opens young children’s imagination to collaborate with their peers, in the form of creating games or solving problems together.
Children will often develop empathy for others. When playing outdoors young children get the sense of freedom and feel more independent, we witness children supporting others and asking peers if they are o.k.
Building upon the 5 senses
Nature based play helps to build on taste, touch, smell, vision, and hearing.
Across our Day Nurseries & Pre-Schools, we use real fruit, vegetables, herbs, and real-life objects, so children can experience all the senses, whilst learning in a hands-on environment. It is important to bring nature indoors also!
Our free-flow access approach enables children to be exposed to various experiences such as getting to hear the birds, touch the leaves and see how the world changes throughout the seasons.
Ultimately, using natural resources both inside and outside is a lot of fun for children, whilst also nurturing their curiosity, and giving them new challenges and experiences. Hopefully, this article has given some insight into the benefits of Nature-Based Play and we champion this as the Kids Play ethos.
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