Namrata Kulkarni is back on the blog to talk about the importance and benefits of outdoor play and exploration for children. She shares a story about the day that she and her co-teacher opted for outdoor time on a rare, sunny morning! -Ed.
– – – –
Recently, as my co teacher and I played with our kids during our routine morning exploration, an idea struck us. We looked outside at the gorgeous sun that poured through the window and wondered, why aren’t we outside on a day like this? Seattle has just about 53 days of sunlight a year and here is a morning calling out to us as we sit indoors!
Instantly, we both smiled knowing exactly what the other was thinking and made an announcement to our kids! Exploration was moving outdoors. The shock and excitement on our kids’ faces was worth a million dollars. As a class, we decided to carry our magna tiles and animals, some dot paints and sheets of paper and of course our babies because they need sun light too. What enfolded when we got outside was the most beautiful exploration we had ever seen. Hopscotch was played with babies in hand, big castles were made for animals with magna tiles and woodchips, dot paint rainbows and beaches came alive on sheets of paper as all our kids smiled with pure satisfaction.
The other thing we also realized, is our kids were suddenly a whole new personality outdoors than indoors. Problem solving was kinder, there was more body space and they could all spread wider as well as the sun played a huge role in maintaining the positive attitude around.
We had no clue that play outside would bring out the best in our kids and offer them the chance to be more imaginative, creative as well as responsible. Next time you see the sun, don’t hesitate to try it out. It might just be your most magical day ever!