Education doesn’t only take place in the classroom. Here in Waterford, there are so many parks and outdoor areas at our fingertips. When kids are taken outside to explore and experience nature, a whole new and expansive classroom is opened up to them.
Every child needs to get outside and get moving. There are SO MANY benefits to getting outdoors. One of the benefits is simply — exercise. It’s so important for kids (and adults!) to be active for some time every day. What better way than to get outside and run around than to head into nature? Being active and playing outside opens the mind to discovery and exploration. And hey, Vitamin D is kind of important too.
Nature and Creativity
When kids are free to explore, their minds open up to the world around them. You can talk about flowers and bugs in the classroom, but what if you got outside to actually experience these things? Hands-on nature exploration can spur the creativity of a child’s mind and allow them to develop through play and experience. All by simply looking for worms! Just an example, of course. Simply put, being outside can do wonders and for a kid living in Waterford. There are so many opportunities and locations to let their imaginations run wild.
Learning outside is FUN. We thought we’d provide some outdoor activities you can do to keep the education flowing over summer (without the kids even realizing it).
● Catch Lightning Bugs — Grab a jar, poke holes in the lid, and run wild. Catching lightning bugs is a centuries-old pastime for many children. And a wonderful learning experience too. Catch a few with your child and sit and look in wonder at how these little creatures can light up. Look for rhythm in their flashes. These magnificent little bugs are almost fairylike in existence and not only are they fun to watch, but they’re also fun to catch, and interesting to learn about.
● Make Music — If you still have that jar, grab it and then have your child discover items to put in it and shake. How do seeds sound compared to acorns? Do grass clippings make a sound? If you can, teach them how to take a blade of grass between your hands and blow, creating a piercing whistle. Listen to the wind, the birds, a stream. There is music everywhere if you just take the time to listen.
● Leaves, Plants, and Flowers, OH MY — Kids LOVE to pick flowers and pull leaves. Have them gather different items and then examine together the differences in the leaves and the veins within that carry water. Compare different flower petals. Compare and contrast all things in nature! You can even give them a quick lesson in chlorophyll if you’re up for it!
These are just a few examples that show how much fun there is to have outside and just how much learning there is everywhere around you. When you’re outside, there is nothing you can’t learn more of. It’s good for the kids’ health, it’s good for their mind, and it’s good for the parents because lots of fresh air usually means a good nap! Being in nature is like having one of the best classrooms at your fingertips. In Waterford alone, there are parks galore to explore with the kids. If you’re curious for some more of our favorite outdoor learning activities, contact us here!