Exploring the outdoors has many benefits for your preschool students
I was recently asked if I take the kids outside to play in the snow and the answer was, “Yes I do!” I guess I was surprised by the question. It actually never occurred to me to not take the children outside to play in the snow.
Now you should know that I am not an outdoorsy girl. I don’t like to be cold. I dread having frozen fingers and toes. If I could just stay inside and paint pictures, build with blocks, read stories, and sing songs – I would do it. But my students are outdoorsy kids and no matter what the weather is, they ask me, “When can we go outside and play?”
Developing the Whole Child
Even if it means spending 30 minutes putting on coats, hats, gloves, snow pants, and boots for 10 to 15 minutes of play in the freezing cold snow, I take my outdoorsy kids outside to play but not because I am an outdoorsy girl. I go through all the trouble to get them outside because it makes them incredibly happy and it is important for their overall development.
Joining in their Adventures
However, I figure if I going to take them outside in the snow, I might as well make the most of it so I put on my warmest coat, boots, and gloves and take them out for snowy day adventures, even though I am not an outdoorsy girl.
Exploring and Taking Risks
We take snowy day hikes in the woods and climb on slippery logs. I find that by joining the children in their adventures, I start to warm up to the idea of being an outdoorsy girl, even though I’m not really an outdoorsy girl.
Having Fun Together!
I find if I go ahead and let them bring their sleds so we can all take turns pulling each other around the play scape, I stay warmer which is especially good since I am not an outdoorsy girl.
Improved Focus and Attention
No, I am not an outdoorsy girl but every time I head outside on a snowy day with my outdoorsy kids, I find that my students are more relaxed and more joyful. No matter what other amazing activity I had planned to do inside the classroom, at the end of the day, all my students care about is whether they went outside to play.
Embracing Outdoor Exploration
I don’t consider myself an outdoorsy girl but my students haven’t figured that out yet. They think that I love being outside as much as they do. And I guess I do, even though I’m really not an outdoorsy girl.
Don’t even think about throwing that snow ball at ……. splat… me.
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