Friday, August 1, 2014
A new type of daycare has opened in the heart of London - an outdoor nursery located within Highgate Wood. At Into the Woods Outdoor Nursery, the children spend most days outside enjoying fresh air, imagination and a unique education.
The benefits of outdoor play have a positive impact on children's lives -
1. There is a certain freedom in outdoor areas. Children playing and learning in an outdoor environment are more active, more motivated, and have a more motivated attitude towards learning.
2. Children are less inhibited outside. They are more willing to join in discussions and play and come out of their shells.
3. The Out-of-doors is the perfect learning environment. It lets children utilize all four of the means by which they learn - movement, play, talk and sensory exploration.
4. The outdoors allows children to receive the physical exercise which is so crucial to healthy bodies and minds!
The daycare is for children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 5. They spend the majority of their time outside, even in inclement weather! The only time the children will be inside is if there is high wind or extreme cold.
I saw first-hand how outdoor classrooms assist children in learning. When we lived in Arkansas, we lived next door to a small country school. The school owned 10 acres which they utilized as an outdoor teaching aid. All teachers - math, history, science, english - would bring their students outside to experience Nature. The teachers all said how the kids retained the knowledge learned while outdoors and the lessons taught indoors would sometimes go in one ear and out the other side.
I wish more schools would follow the lead of the Into the Woods School.