As we enter the winter months and the days get shorter, playing outside might not feel as easy as it does in the summertime. That doesn’t mean it’s less important, however! For daycare-aged children being able to get outside and run around is necessary for their mental and physical health. There’s so much outdoor learning to explore and fun new outdoor play activities to enjoy.
Fresh air contains high levels of negative ions that can have a positive impact on brain function, mood, and well-being. Sunlight provides Vitamin D that children need to grow strong, healthy bones. Lots of beneficial ‘good stuff’ is outside! When the kids are running around in our large outdoor play spaces, they are getting all the benefits of a healthy environment and robust childhood development.
How To Make Outdoor Play Fun!
Dress for the weather: We make sure all our Ducklings are dressed appropriately to enjoy the outdoors. Hats, mittens, boots, and coats are all important when playing outside. It’s hard to have fun and make snowballs when you’re cold! This is our number one priority when gearing up for outdoor play–the correct gear for the weather.
Stay active: Let’s make use of all the space and run around, squeal, laugh, and explore! By stretching out our bodies and getting out extra energy, we are able to reduce restlessness in the classroom. Moving around also keeps bodies warmer than standing still, so we like to get the blood pumping especially on colder days.
Make up games: There are lots of things to do outside! As part of our daycare education curriculum, we incorporate learning and play so every Duckling can stay engaged and curious with the world around them. We hunt for sticks and sort them, we gather leaves off the ground and see which ones sound the crunchiest, and when it snows we make obstacle courses and have snowball target practice.
The CDC recommends 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day for children five years and up, including aerobic, muscle strengthening, and bone strengthening activities at least three days a week. (Our Ducklings do a lot of climbing!) This is something we incorporate into our child care education because our focus is on the whole child. When selecting a child care center for your little one, we believe physical and mental health should be just as important as their education.
Don’t let the change in weather convince you outdoor play is shelved until April. With a few extra layers of warmth there is much to do and explore even in the snow!
If you’re searching for a high-quality daycare center near Philadelphia, turn to Ducklings Early Learning Center. Children can look forward to fun, themed enrichment activities, plentiful outdoor playtime, and socialization with their peers. Our well-trained teachers encourage children to explore the world around them with a focus on mind, body, heart, and family. Families can feel confident that students are engaged in an age-appropriate daycare curriculum in a safe, compassionate environment.