In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the specific value found in outdoor and nature time for children during their younger years. The ability to run and play freely is just one of many specific positives that come with designated outdoor time for children, and there are also many such benefits that speak directly to both their mental and physical development.
At Lit’l Scholars Learning Centers, our preschool, daycare and other child care programs all happily incorporate strong outdoor elements, from basic recess periods to specific programs and activities meant to stimulate your child’s knowledge and understanding of nature. Let’s go over several themes that are often great for kids to help them connect with nature, including some we touch on regularly within our programs.
Collecting and Scrapbooking
One fantastic way to help children understand and appreciate nature as they move through their early years of life is using collection and scrapbooking themes. Many kids don’t quite yet have the dexterity for a full-on art project, but that doesn’t mean they can’t take part in some basic collection of things like leaves, flowers and other parts of nature they find interesting.
Once you’ve collected some items, a great activity is working with them on scrapbooking or otherwise organizing them. A collage is another great idea here, and gives children a token of their project they can hold onto.
For kids who are particularly interested in nature’s various elements, another potential theme is a nature journal or some kind of similar item. Kids who are able and willing to write can be asked to describe some of what they’ve seen or what interested them; others may prefer to draw some of their favorite sights.
Another excellent activity for those who live in areas where this sort of thing is realistic at certain times of the year: Take kids out for an excursion where you pick various fruits or vegetables found on the plants and trees in your area. This is a fantastic way to get kids interested in these healthy foods, plus often helps them develop a taste and eye for those they enjoy in natural ways so they don’t have to be forced to eat these every meal.
Finally, there are numerous events or activities that serve as kid-friendly ways to enjoy oneself, from concerts to various park events and local neighborhood activities. These often provide chances to not only get your child outside, but also allow them some social interactions as well.
For more on the value of outdoor time for kids and some themes to consider here, or to learn about any of our child care services, speak to the staff at Lit’l Scholars Learning Centers today.