Why Outdoor Play is Important
The CDC recommends that children get AT LEAST 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity everyday. But aside from the obvious reason (exercise), why is outdoor play so important?
Improves Physical Development
Running, jumping, sliding, swinging, hopping, throwing…all of these are motor skills. When playing outside children get the chance to work on the gross motor skill development. Which is just as important as fine motor skills. Think about it…a 3 year old can typically hop on one foot for just a moment, but by age 5 that same child is standing still on one foot with their eyes closed! But you can’t just go from A to C without stopping by step B first!
While playing outside children get to be in the sun. Sunlight stimulates the pineal gland, which keeps the immune system strong! Children are also getting most of their Vitamin D through sunlight exposure.
Being out in the sun doesn’t just help children’s immune systems. It also helps to regulate their internal clocks, which can help them fall asleep easier at night.
Improves Social Development
Playing outside with other children gives kids a chance to work on their social and communication skills. It also gives children a chance to learn the value of diversity and empathy.
When children play outside regularly they are happier! They get to use their imagination more which leads them to being better playmates for their friends and better problem solvers later in life.
Gain Knowledge and Appreciation for Nature
One day our children will be the ones running the world! Don’t we want them to gain a knowledge and appreciation for the places they call home?
Outdoor play is ESSENTIAL for education.
Schedules, Routines, and Your Preschooler
“How did you get my kid to take a nap! She/He hasn’t napped at home since they were 2!”
“How do you manage to keep all the kids in the same place?”
“How do you do it?!”
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been asked these very same questions over the years. And my answer is always the same:
“The kids know our schedule and routine. So they know what comes next in our day and what is expected of them.”
Keeping to a schedule and having a routine is important to your little one. But, why?
Consistency gives kids a sense of security.
When children know what to expect in their typical day they feel a sense calm and security.
Schedules help build trust between children and their teachers.
Younger children begin to understand that the adults in their lives will take care of their needs on a regular basis.
Inconsistency creates anxiety for many children.
When there are too many unknowns happening for the child, it can create anxiety. For example, they may cry or become irritable.
Allow for some flexibility within the day.
Schedules should also be somewhat flexible. The times may fluctuate a little throughout the day, and that’s perfectly fine. However, I do recommend keeping to a strict meal/nap schedule. (Hangry and tired children are never a good thing!)
Parents should be as consistent as possible when children are at home.
Parents are busy at home, and I get it! However, even having just a simple schedule and routine for your child will make them feel amazing!
The Importance of Rhyming
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Why do so many preschools spend so much time teaching children Nursery Rhymes and nonsense songs? Well, simply put, it’s because it’s good for the children! To many parents, it seems like these silly rhymes and songs are meant to just entertain a child. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth! These things teach children to rhyme and rhyming is a key part of phonological awareness.
Why is rhyming so important?
- Rhyming teaches children how language works. By combining different sounds to make both words and nonsense words children begin to take ownership over their language.
- Rhyming lets children experience the rhythm of language. This will eventually lead to children being expressive in their reading.
- Rhyming helps prepare children to make predictions in their reading. I.e. Twinkle Twinkle little star. How I wonder what you ____.
- Rhyming is also important for writing. It helps with teaching children word families, like -at and -an.
- It’s fun! It’s a fun way to help engage children in their learning.
How can you teach rhyming?
- Keep it short. You don’t need to spend hours and hours on rhyming words. You can incorporate them into your child’s everyday learning.
- Books books and more books.
- Sing silly songs and do finger plays
- Try “The Name Game”
Screen Time & Your Preschooler
Screens are all around us. Everywhere we go and everything we do usually involves a screen of some sort. While there are some amazing apps and shows that can help reinforce learning and promote creative play, how much screen time is appropriate for your preschooler?
Pediatricians and Early Childhood Educators agree that children ages 2 through should have no more than 1 hour of screen time per day. The only exception to this would be for video chatting with grandparents and other family friends as it helps children build social skills.
What are some ways to have a better screen time for your child?
- Be with your child and interact with them. Talk to them about the things they are learning and seeing.
- Research games and apps before getting them for your child.
- Keep devices with screens out of the child’s room after bedtime.
Leave us a comment and tell us your favorite app for your preschooler!
Why is sensory play important?
Early Childhood Educators every where have been talking about the importance of sensory play and the fact that screens have begun taking it away. But why exactly is sensory play so important? Well sensory play….
- Builds Never Connections
Research has shown that as children actively use their senses in conjunction with one another, it helps build the pathways between the nerves in the brain. This will lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
2. Supports Cognitive Development
Children first learn new things via their senses. Every time they encounter something cold, hard, wet, or bumpy, for example, it reinforces their understanding of what types of things have these characteristics.
3. Improves Social Skills
Partaking in sensory play with their friends and classmates children will communicate with each other both verbally and non-verbally. Together they will uncover new ways to manipulate a substance or object.
4. Strengthens Fine Motor Skills
Sensory play usually involves touching, pouring, pinching, sorting and moving actions. Children mainly use their hands to explore and in doing so, build upon their fine motor skills.
5. Enhances Language Skills
By engaging in sensory play children will discover new ways to describe the objects in the world around them.
6. Has a calming effect
Sensory play is a great tool for anxious or frustrated children. It gives them something different to focus on besides what is upsetting them.
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