|Posted by sunshine-dayhome on March 24, 2017 at 3:00 PM|
A huge part of our time together is spent outside, even when it's wet or cold or hot or - anytime! Unless the temperature drops below -20 with the wind chill, we enjoy outside time each and every time. I love how, when we step outside, fighting and attention-seeking behaviours drop away and the children settle in almost immediately to their work and play. Megan, my dayhome consultant, recently asked what kinds of activities we do out there, so I thought I would share with you some of the many physical activities the children engage in when we are in the back yard these days. 1. Swinging! They climb on the rope ladder, sit on the bottom rung, and kick back and forth. They also swing on the hammock, which for the two and three's is a challenge just to climb into. 2. Digging! We have several child-sized shovels, which are real tools, with a wooden shaft and sturdy metal blade and handle. I teach them how to use the tools safely, and then they head off to dig holes, move chunks of snow, and chip at ice. They also learn a lot of spatial awareness as I guide them in making sure they keep a safe distance from one another 3. Climbing! We have two small slides and a little backyard fort, and they absolutely love going up and down the climbing walls and stairs. I am especially proud of the way they have learned to share the space, create inclusive games, and figure out safe ways of passing one another on the slide, climbing walls, and stairs. 4. Running! One of the best things to do outside is run and scream with a happy voice. The big benefit in daily outdoor play time is knowing that my reminders to walk and use an inside voice won't be needed here. There's a time and place for everything, and kids definitely need a time and place to run around making joyful noises, loud and quiet. 5. Exploring! The space out there lets them move their bodies in so many ways it's hard to count them. They walk, hop, jump and run. They chase each other, sneak around, make their bodies tiny and huge. They balance on lines, cracks, logs, and whatever else they can find. They heave huge chunks of snow and form tiny snowballs. They crouch down, stretch up high, crawl around, splash in puddles, and crack the perfect skims of ice that form on those gorgeous transitional days between winter and true spring here in Alberta. Through it all, they are working on those developmental skills, with the space, guidance, and fresh air they need for support. I love it - and so do they.