The benefits of encouraging outdoor play in Early Years
Away from the physical constraints of a classroom setting, there are countless opportunities to continue the development and learning of early years children outside of the school building. With an increase in screen time and time spent indoors amongst EYFS children, schools and nurseries across the country are embracing the opportunity to take their lessons outside.
The great outdoors presents a multitude of learning opportunities for young children to benefit, no matter the weather. At Sovereign we understand the importance of outdoor play, and we actively encourage our clients to take their lessons outdoors as often as possible
Sovereign’s Managing Director, Andrew Humphreys, advises “Although some may be deterred by a rainy day, such conditions should be relished as a unique opportunity to teach children about the natural changes in the world around them. I believe time spent outdoors makes children happier and healthier, and a simple idea can make an incredible difference to a young child’s development.”
- Nature & Environment – Use all-weather outdoor play to engage children and help them learn about nature and the environment. Teach them about seasons and how they change throughout the year. Help them learn about the different weathers and how they can change their surroundings. Look at hibernation and how wildlife adapts to the different conditions. Encourage them to connect with nature and build an affection for the environment that can be taken into adulthood.
- Physical Development – Take the lesson outdoors and assist the development of gross motor skills by encouraging physical play. Allow children to jump off mounds and climb trees while their imaginations run wild!
- Social Interaction – Indoor settings can feel confined and be intimidating to young children, particularly if they are new to their surroundings. Remove the physical restrictions by spending time outside where children can gain confidence and bond as they explore the world around them.
- Sensory Play – Create the ultimate sensory environment using the great outdoors! With soil, leaves, stones and a little bit of water, the possibilities are endless! Make the most of what the environment has to offer with inexpensive materials and no need to worry about making a mess!
The skills gained from outdoor play will help prepare children for the challenges they may face in later life. By making the most of the outdoors during early years, you can build their confidence and develop their understanding of the world around them.
If you would like advice from one of our experts on how to make the most of your EYFS outdoor area, contact us today on 01702 804299 or email [email protected]