Winter, winter, winter … – why is the time spent outdoors so important?
The time has come when the days are short and the temperature often drops below freezing. Is this a good time of the year to go outside? Or is it better to wait until the days get longer and the temperature rises? Well, the answer is simple: Don’t wait!
Being active outdoors has many benefits:
Develops gross and fine motor skills
Has a positive effect on building healthy habits
Develops creativity and imagination
If we have not taken your child outside too often so far, you may not have ideas of what to do. Nothing simpler, below you will find a list of activities that you can encourage your child to do or do it together:
Observation of nature – in everyday life, we often lack time to observe what surrounds us. Walking together is a great opportunity to observe nature. Searching for the most beautiful stone, looking at the shapes of snowflakes or looking at the clouds can certainly make every walk, even the shortest one, more pleasant.
Creating natural art projects – look around and compose a work of art from what is around you, build an unusual snowman or create a sensory path.
Running, jumping, climbing – to move freely in various weather a child has to be properly prepared for it – waterproof, windproof clothing will be perfect for winter weather!
Snowball fight – you can build a base with your child and invite other children to play (not forgetting about safety rules) – it is great fun for the whole family and a way to socialize.
Angels in the snow – lying on the snow, we can observe clouds or listen to sounds coming from the environment – who will hear more different sounds?
Snow Expedition: Hunters – go to the forest and try to find the tracks that the animals left on the snow – what kind of animals are they?
Spending time outdoors with the child also allows all participants of the trip to take a break from the effort related to selective attention. In everyday life, we must very scrupulously choose what we want to focus our attention on, because the number of stimuli that surround us is very high. The sound of the trees, birds singing, or simply forest silence allow both, children and adults, to gain energy.
In American Montessori Preschool, we go outside every day, regardless of the weather, and we closely observe how amazingly children can use it.