Have you played outside today?

Mine was the first group out into the yard this afternoon.  We decided to check on our bird feeder to see if it needed filling. Sure enough it was empty.  I got my little helpers to fill it back up again.

I hold the container and they reach in and carefully fill the scoop.  They feel so proud to do this on their own.

All four of them had a turn.

The seeds don't last long so we have to do this task often.
They are learning...

*fine motor control
*thoughtfulness and care for wild life

When we were done, we looked around for the birds.  Where were they?  Up in the trees?
I am so thankful for all the beautiful trees in our yard.  

*russian sage
*mountain ash 

We see different leaves, needles and blossoms. 

 We watched for the birds and then we got talking about our resident squirrel, Tina Peanut.  We wondered where she was too.

The children know where her house is, so they went to see if she was home.

Sometimes we can hear her rustling around in there.

The children know that she likes to come and take our kleenexes for her cozy home.

And that she likes pinecones to eat.

We often see her running on top of the fence, along tree branches or eating her pinecones on top of the shed roof.

"Is she on the roof?" he wonders.

Then we went and hid in the lilac bush to see if our friends could find us.

There is a well beaten path running through it.  It is a good place to hang out, inside a lilac bush.

This little one noticed the pretty lilacs that are starting to bloom.


I love that the children are intimately aware of their outdoor space.  Outside time is very important to the staff and children at our daycare.  We go out morning and afternoon rain, shine or snow!  
The children experience the diversity in the play space as the weather changes. 
 Snow, mud puddles, dust, grass. It all makes for an adventure for these young children.  

Playing outside: 

*supports creativity and problem solving
*enhances cognitive abilities
*improves academic performance
*reduces Attention Deficit Disorder symptoms
*increases physical activity
*improves nutrition
*improves eyesight
*improves social relations and self-discipline
*reduces stress

Click the link to read more about the benefits of Nature Play

“For ourselves, and for our planet, we must be both strong and strongly connected — with each other, with the earth. As children, we need time to wander, to be outside, to nibble on icicles, watch ants, to build with dirt and sticks in the hollow of the earth, to lie back and contemplate clouds….” Gary Paul Nabhan & Stephen Trimble, The Geography of Childhood, 2004 

Have you played outside today?

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