Weekly Forest Walks are part of our Play-based Program. How do children benefit from going to the forest?
Recent research studies illustrate that using the outdoors as a learning resource is highly beneficial for physical, mental, social and emotional development in children, young people and adults:
Educators proposed severalbenefits, including:
Enhanced Environmental Awareness
Increased Risk-Taking Skills
Better Self-Regulation Skills
Improved Mental Health
Advanced Gross Motor Skills
Increased Imaginative Play
Nature plays a big part in a young learners development. As they explore they are deepening their relationship with nature and learning from the world around them. Children need real life, first hand experiences. They are observers and explorers by nature and develop an understanding of themselves and the environment they are in. Frequent, unstructured childhood play in natural settings has been found to be the most common influence on the development of life-long conservation values.
Children naturally become intensely engaged in play. Pursuing their own purposes, they tend to tackle problems that are challenging enough to be engaging yet not totally beyond their abilities. Sticking with a problem, puzzling over it, and approaching it in various ways can lead to powerful learning. When several children are challenged with the same problem, they often come up with different approaches, discuss various strategies, and learn from one another. These aspects of play can promote thinking and learning in different areas.
Our Pre-K playground opens up many new learning opportunities for children.
Children used bamboo sticks, colorful curtains, and clips to make a Tent on a sunny day:
Working together the children first decided to put sticks together. Then, they came up with the idea to make a tent. Helping each other, they put the curtains on the sticks and fixed them with clips. Two days later the children decided to put a big wooden chair in the area they were playing in. While putting sticks around it and covering it with curtains, they came up with the idea of building a … Pirate ship!
The final step was to put a flag on the ship:
Pirate ship is ready:
Once the children started to focus on a project, we saw them work and play collaboratively, using their imagination, previous knowledge and experience. Some playmates were familiar with each other, and others were becoming new friends. Playing together and learning from each other helps children to connect to each other.
Yours in Learning,
The Pre-K team
Check HERE to see what day we are on in the six-day cycle.