“The best classroom and richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky” Margaret McMillan 1919
Ask any adult to think back to their childhood and what they remembered playing, I can almost guarentee that their memory will be of playing outside. Outdoors give a child the freedom to move, to be imaginative, to discover and learn about their world, and gives them plenty of sensory experiences from smelling a flower (remember making perfume from petals?) to encountering stinging nettles. It offers the child innumerable activities and experiences and enhances their learning in so many ways. As summer approaches we are reviewing the nursery’s ‘back garden’ to ensure we are providing a wide range of activities for the children. Perhaps you could review your garden. Providing outdoor activities does not have to cost a great deal. Find a large cardboard box for your child to paint, add wheels (paper plates) and your child will spend endless time in their bus/ car/ train. Do you have a small patch of earth to give to your child? They could use it to grow plants, but they could also use it as a mud pit. Think of small children on a beach. While dad is constructing a mega castle complete with moat, moving drawer bridge and flags, the children are content with just digging. Children love to dig! And while they are digging in their designated piece of garden, they are discovering worms and insects. Den making, water play, obstacle courses, collecting natural materials, ‘painting’ with water, discovering nature, playing in puddles, gardening , drawing chalk roads and towns on paths and drives, making perfumes and potions- the list is endless. With imagination and everyday resources, even the smallest garden can become an exciting adventure playground for your child. Don’t forget to check out the ‘outdoor’ books in our parents library for ideas.