Vitamin fresh air
The advice of pediatricians and ophthalmologists is that children should play outside for 2 hours a day. At 10forKIDS we think playing outside is very important and we try to follow this advice throughout the year. We can be found outside in both sun and rain. We ask parents to dress the kids in appropriate clothing. So what are the important benefits of playing outside? After some reading, we list the necessary things for you.
Being active in a green environment helps the development of children. Both on a cognitive, social-emotional and motor and psychological level. Children get enough vitamin D when they play outside and so-called happiness substances (endorphins and dopamine) are released in the brain. Children up to four years old needs extra vitamin D for their resistance, eyes, strong bones and good teeth. Research also shows that children suffer less from colds when they play outside. Being in nature helps to relax, giving children more room to concentrate and focus later in the day.
In the natural schoolyard, for example, children gain many sensory experiences. They feel the soil and smell the flowers and plants. Lift a wood chip, feel how heavy a branch is, listen to the birds. These are learning moments that help their brain to grow.
In nature, children can also experience language concepts: lifting up, heavy, light, underneath, on top. You experience these concepts a lot by being outside. Looking through the window does not help to experience nature and learn these language concepts. Go out with the children, into nature.
How do you make playing outside fun in your garden?
Idea for older kids:
Many older children really enjoy taking pictures. You can do that very nicely in the garden. Take pictures of the birds, the plants, or whatever you see. Use the garden as a subject, or as a background. When you are done, you can edit them with a fun photo app. Do you want to learn more about taking photos together? Read: Snap! (writer: Anki Wijnen). This is a really fantastic book to learn how to photograph better with your smartphone.
Idea for younger kids:
With a brush and water, the younger children can “paint in the garden on the tiles”. When your painting has dried up and disappeared you just start again.
Idea for young and old:
You can do fun things with branches, leaves, water, stones and other natural materials in the garden. Build beautiful works of art, make letters on the floor. Or, for example, make a game: tic-tac-toe. The stripes are made of branches, the circles are pinecones and the crosses are stones. Or you paint stones with circles and crosses.