Growth is Rooted in Nature
Our theme this year, “where growth is rooted in nature,” resonates so deeply as we have become a culture that forgets to appreciate nature and allow our kids the opportunities to experience it. We spend so much of our lives indoors, and need to get back outside–even when it’s cold!
This last week, the primary students enjoyed time outside catching snowflakes on their tongues. We are making an effort to get the students outside each day so that they can experience all that nature has to offer in each season.
Encouraging our children to spend time playing outdoors can help their motor, sensory, social and cognitive development – and is great for their general health and wellbeing.
Here are four great reasons to get outside with your kids:
Nature encourages physical exercise and development.
Playing outside is fantastic for helping children practice their physical abilities. Exercises such as running, jumping, skipping and playing ball games not only strengthen little muscles, but they can also help with gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination and overall health and wellbeing.
Nature promotes creativity and imaginative thought.
Playing outdoors is helpful for encouraging creative thinking through imagination. Outdoors, children can enjoy unstructured play, where they can make up activities and games on the spot with what is around them – a log can be a pirate ship sailing the seas, or a stick can be a magic wand – or anything they can imagine.
Playing games like ‘Hide and Seek’ are fun and important for your child’s development as they assist with language skills and social and emotional learning.
Being outside encourages discovery of the natural world.
Being outdoors also helps your child connect with nature and the environment around them. You can use the opportunity of going outside together to talk to your child about the natural world. For example, you could discuss how plants grow, the changing of the seasons or how caterpillars turn into butterflies.
Get fresh air and avoid bacteria.
Most adults associate the winter months with getting colds and illnesses such as the flu. However, it is not the cold weather that necessarily causes colds and flus – it is increased exposure to indoor environments where bacteria and viruses live. For example, during the winter months, you turn on your home’s heating and venting systems. The bacteria and viruses within your home are continuously being moved around inside. Adults and children who spend long periods of time in a heated and poorly ventilated home, without exposure to fresh air, can easily pass germs to each other.
So this winter, bundle up, enjoy the cold, and embrace the discovery of nature with your kids. They will love it!