Autumn is a magical time of year. Leaves change to brilliant yellows, oranges and reds. An abundance of natural loose parts fall to the ground and are now within reach. If inspiration is needed for creative outdoor play ideas, try connecting the stories and themes of children's books to autumn outdoor play.
The changing color of the autumn leaves is a great opportunity for exploring science, art and literacy with young children.
Dr. Diane Craft spoke at the 9th Annual Natural Learning Design Institute and shared innovative, but practical, ideas for increasing physical activity levels in young children.
As temperatures start to drop, so does our motivation to go outside and play. A greater effort is required to prepare children for outdoor play, but with a little planning and the proper clothing it can be well worth the extra effort. As our friends in Sweden say, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.”
Young children are experiential, hands-on learners and love making their own gardens personalized with a theme. Theme gardens can complement children’s current interests as well as a childcare center’s educational philosophy or curriculum unit. Theme topics are limitless.
Early spring is a time bursting with possibilities in the garden, even while the air is still cold and the days are just beginning to lengthen. Here are ways to jump start spring in the garden with kids, taking advantage of everything the season has to offer.
Just one gourd seed (Lagenaria siceraria) planted in early spring will become a lush, 25-foot vine covered with dozens of gourds by fall. After a full summer of growth, the gourds can be harvested and dried, then turned into natural birdhouses that invite birds into your outdoor space.
Springtime is ideal for outdoor play. After a cold, gray winter, the blue skies, new leaves, and warm breezes beckon everyone to come out and play for a while. In the excitement of a new season of growth, here are some activities to make the most of all that spring has to offer.