Throughout my summer, I have been privileged to spend lot of time outside. As I sit listening to the wind in the trees or the waves crashing on the shore, I am reminded of the amazing wonders of our world. Spending time outdoors is extremely important for children, especially in the early years (kindergarten). I have been reading various resources about outdoor learning and following colleagues as they explore what outdoor learning means in our contexts, and the more I read the more I realize how valuable nature is to us and to children.
"Studies show links between access to nature and ability to sustain concentration, delay gratification and cope with stressors."
This chart from an article about the benefits of nature highlights some of the skills students gain from spending time outdoors:
|Click here for the full article|
Wisdom of Nature: Out My Backdoor
A Place of Wonder
York Region Nature Collaborative
With summer coming to a close in a couple weeks, I hope you take the opportunity to get outside and spend some quality time in nature with your child.
|Look at the clouds...what shapes or pictures can you find?|
|Look for bugs and insects. What patterns can you find?|
|Find wild flowers. How many different colours can you find?|
|Go pick berries. How many can you pick?|
|Go for a nature walk, either on a trail or...|
in a forest or ...
Paint objects (sticks or rocks) that you find outside.
Look up! Can you find a rainbow when it's sunny?
Write down what you find outside (i.e. bugs, houses, trees, plants, clouds, birds, etc.).
"Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivaated, these values can mature into ecological literacy and eventually into sustainable patterns of living."
- Zenobia Barlow