Children denied joy of nature, says National Trust

AutumWalk_09_07The National Trust has warned that children are being denied the enjoyment of the  outdoors and nature with consequences for their health. We know that outdoor play is essential for all aspects of a child’s development  providing experiences which enable them to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. So it is sad that so many children are being denied access to the great outdoors. At The Rainbow Montessori Nursery School we view outdoor play as an essential part of our provision. A nursery is an ideal environment for children to learn about the natural world, the seasons, animals and plants as well as how fruit and vegetables are grown.  We try to give them as many outdoor experiences as we can. Not only are children encouraged to play in our garden, but our Forest School sessions provide opportunities for the children to discover the natural world, climb muddy banks and splash in puddles. We make sure they are happy and comfortable outside by providing all weather clothing so that they stay warm and dry and carry out thorough risk assessments. Our small private allotment is used by the children to grow potatoes, peas, beans, onions, salad vegetables, pumpkins and anything else we can fit in! They love being outside digging, watering and planting seeds and seedlings….and hunting for worms! In our experience the children love the outdoors and I wonder when they are all grown up, will they remember playing outside with water or in the sandpit, will they remember looking for sticks in the woods to make a den or seeing if they can jump across a ditch or will they remember being inside watching TV? What would you choose for your child?

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