One of the most important things you can do for your child is make him comfortable being outside. Children who play outdoors on a regular basis are far less likely to obese. Chidren who play outdoors grow up to love nature and value conservation and the outdoors when they are adults. Children who play outdoors have increased self-esteem. They learn to be creative. They learn to negotiate. They learn self-reliance. If your child doesn’t learn to read by age 4 rest assured ………….they will eventually and they will catch up with those children who know how to read already and they will be more well rounded than those who have had to sit in class all day. Children learn through play.*
Place-Based Education and Practice: Observations from the Field by Robert Barratt & Elisabeth Barratt Hacking – University of Bath, UK
Nature Based Pre-schools like Pilcher Park Nature Center’s Little Sprouts Nature Based Early Learning Center and Dodge Nature Preschool http://www.dodgenaturecenter.org/Preschool/ , Schitz Audubon Nature Center Preschool http://www.sanc.org/natpre.htm and a few others are gems within the preschool world.
Children learn by doing, by playing and by exploring. WE base our education on nature but at least half of the class and more if possible is held outside. Sometimes it looks like the children are just playing outdoors but they are really learning.
Louise Chawla, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Chawla is an expert in children and how children interact and play with each other and she highly recommends Play in Nature. The best way to teach them to Play in Nature is to just LET THEM PLAY. Children will make up games, make forts and toys of their own if allowed to do so. They will sit for hours
There are so many resources on playing outdoors! Please look into a nature based Preschool experience for your child. I will be bringing more information about Nature Based Preschools in the coming months and like ours there are probably some open spots in one class or another. WE have 4 openings in the afternoon class.