Friday, August 5, 2011

what do children learn when they play outdoors?

Every day, I am amazed at how much the children learn through free unstructured play outdoors.  

On the first day of term a small group of boys set about rebuilding their police station.  Like a well oiled machine they worked together to cart logs, bricks, stumps - anything they could get their hands on really - from all corners of the playground.

Our old clear easel became a window to their kitchen area which they filled with supplies from the outdoor kitchen.

It may not look like much yet - if last term is anything to go by they will spend days and weeks tweaking and re tweaking their building.  Walls are starting to appear, and they have their floor plan worked out.

Their collaboration was something to behold, as was their independence and absolute confidence that this was their space, these were their materials and they could use both in any way they saw fit.
Playing outdoors they are not only developing their imagination and creative thinking - they are solving problems, moving their bodies, calculating, measuring, inventing, negotiating, co-operating, respecting and learning how to get along.

What more could we want?

Like to learn more about how to encourage creative and imaginative play outdoors?

Or hop on over and see what the children at Takoma Park Nursery and Woodland Park Co-Operative Preschool and Carrot Seed Nursery have been up to in their outdoor play spaces.