Children love playing outside and this environment can yield much information which can be used to decide on the best way to teach children to reach critical development milestones. All that teachers need to do is watch and observe the children in their care to see what’s helping them.
More Confident To Be Themselves
One of the main benefits of observing children outside is that they are more themselves than they are in a classroom. Children can choose their favourite areas to play in, apparatus and demonstrate how they interact with others while playing.
They can also demonstrate critical milestones that they might not demonstrate when they are in a classroom environment. The main reason for this is that children are in a relaxed situation without the knowledge that they are learning or being assessed.
Ways You Can Stimulate Outside Play
One of the main ways you can encourage children to demonstrate what they have learned is through imitation. This could be by asking them to play-act like an emergency service or as their favourite animal.
In these games, they can demonstrate not only how they interact with others, but what they have learned in the classroom such as the responsibilities of the emergency services or the lifecycle of an animal.
You can even add equipment outside for a new dimension to their play. For instance, a playhouse as a building on fire and a trike as a fire engine, or boxes to create buildings or animal homes (like a badger set, birds nest, etc.).
Another option is to conduct experiments outside. Ask children to grow their own garden, build a sandcastle, or use a paddling pool to demonstrate how a duck’s webbed feet work.
These little experiments can be messy – but isn’t that part of the fun? And we know that when children have fun, they can learn better.
So, do you observe children playing outside? What do you ask your children to imitate?
Let us know in the comments below.
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