S-P-R-I-N-G-T-I-M-E! It is finally here. After a long winter (and depending on where you live many months trapped inside), the sunshine, warm weather and everything in between. Working with children for 8 plus hours a day you know the importance of outdoor play (for you and them). Here are some of my favourite outdoor activities to do with children (ages 1 year to 6) during the beginning of spring.
Nature Walks– For childcare centers that are located in a rural area this is your number one asset. Finding animal footprints, listening to the birds, finding flowers. All of these bring up inquires and a multitude of various activities to branch off from.
Puddle and Mud Jumping– Why not get dirty. Children love it! Just make sure you are able to change the child’s clothes.
Bringing out the outdoor experiments they haven’t seen in months– Bikes, chalk, paper, sand tables… the list is endless
Design a garden– whether you are located in the middle of the country or a city you can design a garden with your children. This activity is a long-term project that could be center wide or done by a specific classroom. The ideas are endless
Picnic outside– If you are lucky to have a warm spring afternoon why not take snack outside.
When I plan for outdoor activities I try and ask myself the follow questions:
Are teachers planning opportunities for outdoors that build on children’s interests, potential to learn, and curiosity?
Are choices provided for the children?
Are educators following the lead of the child?
What are your favourite outdoor spring activities and how do you bring the child’s natural curiosity into your program?