Let's take it outside!

I've never had a second thought about whether Small Wonders should be a nature-based program. However, I do worry at times that parents don't always know what that entails. And sometimes I find myself asking if parents are truly on board and whether the benefits that I can offer their children,  outweigh the risks of answering to parents if things go wrong.
On the kiddie end, it's also not always that simple. The effort of getting them all ready for the outdoors is nothing like the craziness of boots, mitts, heavy jackets and snow-pants for fall or winter. I am so thankful for that. But there are always the little hiccups that set us back a little. 
The hiccups have not been on my mind as much as the possibility of stings, scrapes, and falls. We have had a few falls/trips, soaking wet clothes, and a few tears, but, thankfully no stings or bites. I hope it stays that way.
The kids express sheer joy at the thought, or promise of going outside - I love it! Watching them never gets boring. The smallest things set them off- sometimes they are scared, but mostly, they are amazed or can be heard squealing with delight about a "new" discovery.
All I can say is that I have spent enough time with the kids to see them develop social, and motor skills that they wouldn't develop as quickly in the safety of a playroom.
So what are the benefits of nature play?
According to Nature play solutions, some benefits include:
  • Children who play regularly in natural settings are sick less often. Mud, sand, water, leaves, sticks, pine cones and gum nuts can help to stimulate children’s immune systems as well as their imaginations.
  • Children who spend more time outside tend to be more physically active and are less likely to be overweight.
  • Children who play in natural settings are more resistant to stress; have lower incidence of behavioral disorder, anxiety and depression; and have a higher measure of self-worth.
  • Children who play in natural settings play in more diverse, imaginative and creative ways and show improved language and collaboration skills.
  • Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other.
  • Bullying behavior is greatly reduced where children have access to diverse nature-based play environments.
  • Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder are reduced after contact with nature.
linking with country kids
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Coombe Mill at: June 28, 2015 at 3:01 PM said...

I love your list and agree wholeheartedly with all your points. I watch the children play here on the farm and see the delight in their faces and the parents marvel at how behaviour and confidence has grown in just a week and I know that the freedom of our 30 acres with structured and free play and learning has much to do with it. The parents must love what you do at Small Wonders. thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

Salma Saquaf at: June 29, 2015 at 12:46 PM said...

Fiona, you are so blessed to have 30 acres...what I would do with 1 lol.
Thanks for your comment.

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“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
~ Forest Witcraft

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