Play with nature, within nature!

Play with nature, within nature!

Outdoor play is fun for children. Whatever they are doing outside, they seem to love it, whether it is climbing frames, playing with interactive play equipment, hopscotch or “what’s the time Mr. Wolf” you will see the excitement in their eyes. So why not let them explore outdoor play even more and help them to learn about the world with live in as well as experience different textures and sounds.

The outdoor environment offers a unique play experience that cannot be felt indoors. The fresh air fills their lungs and keeps them energised; the large space around them makes them feel free and light and the natural sounds of birds and trees rustling makes them feel settled and calm without even knowing it.

Many games that your children play indoors can be played outdoors but with natures toys – toys that are free! Mud, sand, leaves, stones, clay, twigs, the list is endless!

Help build your children’s physical development and offer them an experience they can only find from getting muddy and not worrying about ruining their clothes. Put old clothes on them and watch their imaginations go wild when you place a table in front of them filled with clay, twigs, leaves, acorns, conkers, shells & stones. Fill another table with mud, sticks, water, pots, pans, spoons, whisks & muffin tins and let them “bake” you a yummy mud pie! (Just don’t eat it of course – they’re not that yummy!)

All of these natural resources can be found within your outside environment or local woods for free & your children will learn sensory skills with excitement and enthusiasm. Watch them squeeze, squelch, squash and crunch all of the objects & watch them giggle until they’re all tired out and ready for a snooze.

Why not provide them with different coloured leaves (great for the autumn months) with paper, glue and flowers and let them make their own natural piece of art which can be laminated afterwards to keep it for longer.

Encourage the children to create finger paintings with mud and give them sticks that they can use as paint brushes.

Another fun mud game is building blocks! Place mud into ice cube trays and freeze overnight (in the winter this can be done outside overnight). Then in the morning they can build brick walls and castles with their new found building blocks!

And lastly, stones can be great fun too. As they pour them into plastic, metal and wooden pots, they can hear the different sounds they make. You can also teach them mathematical skills by asking them to count, add and subtract the stones.

All of these games and activities can be enjoyed under a canopy when it’s raining too much or when the sun is at its strongest, protecting those underneath from harmful UV rays.

Well I don’t know about you, but now I’m at the end of this blog post, all I want to do is grab my kids, get out there and play in the mud! So what do you think, a plan for tomorrow maybe?

For more ideas on outdoor play activities and fun outdoor lesson plans, download our free How to get the Most out of your Canopy guide:

Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
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