In this day and age it is quite easy to accept reduced children’s outdoor play time. There are many technological devices such as video games and television which can be used for education and at home to entertain children.
Although technology can be hugely beneficial to early education it is essential that young children get frequent and regular opportunities to explore and learn in an outdoor environment.
Learning outdoors supports and strengthens the development of a healthy and active lifestyle and gives them the opportunity to move, explore and play freely.
Outdoor learning gives children much needed contact with the natural world and offers them unique experiences which will only be discovered and appreciated in the great outdoors.
These include experiences with different weather and seasons, as well as developing an understanding of nature, animals, bugs, insects and plants.
Outdoor play also supports children’s problem solving skills and nurtures their creativity as well as providing opportunity to develop their imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
Children learn mostly through sensory and physical experiences which contribute to brain development and growth in each child.
Simple outdoor materials such as grass, water, mud, sticks and stones are all readily available which children love to explore and understand.
As well as the natural outdoors there are also specific pieces of play equipment designed for outdoor use such as kitchens, shops and theatres that children can use for group role play and climbing frames that help to improve their coordination as well as gross motor skills.
Our outdoor children’s multi-kitchen is available in two sizes and is manufactured from pre-treated wood which makes it fully weather resistant.
Our indoor/outdoor folding den is perfect for creating some where comfortable and cosy for children to sit. Why not add some comfy outdoor grass floor cushions to make it even cosier?
The nature range floor cushion set includes 10 floor cushions ideal for storytelling and role play both indoors and outdoors.
For a more creative activity our four sided outdoor easel is suitable for group work as the 4 large sides provide enough surface space for children and they can use water based children’s paint as well as whiteboard markers directly to the easel surface.
Encouraging children to enjoy plants and gardening from a young age helps educate them and is a healthy and inexpensive way to have fun at home, school or on an allotment.
Research shows that children who learn to grow their own fruit and vegetables develop a greater interest in healthy eating.
Our Indoor/Outdoor Mini Garden provides a space for children to grow their own seeds and look after plants and can be used alongside the School Planter, which is ideal to transfer seedlings to for continued growth and care.
For tips on integrating gardening at school read our growing vegetable at school article.
The physical aspect of outdoor learning is equally as important as the mental and brain development.
Children benefit hugely from outdoor space as it provides them with room to grow, explore, experiment, discover and develop their physical capabilities which in turn will lead to a healthy and active life.
Physical play is necessary with young children in order to strengthen their bodies, maintain a healthy weight and prevent illnesses. It is important that adults encourage active lifestyles from an early age so that a child is able to maintain that healthy living lifestyle throughout their lives.
Nursery, pre-school and schools are a perfect location for promoting outdoor activities as there are often extra-curricular activities that you can encourage children to join in with.
The sensory and physical experiences young children encounter outdoors supports brain development.
Our outdoor climbing frame is a great piece of outdoor play equipment ideal for promoting and encouraging physical activity.
Now the weather is improving we hope you will be getting outside more to enjoy the outdoors. Let us know what outdoor learning activities you get up to – contact us on Twitter or Facebook.
We are UK suppliers of educational furniture predominantly for the early years' age groups in primary schools, pre-schools, playgroups and nurseries. Here at ELF we pride ourselves on offering great value, quality products backed up by a reliable and flexible service.
For more information on any of our early learning products please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 51112.