Spending time outdoors engaging with nature and exploring activities such as farming and gardening are wonderful types of hands-on learning for the early years.
Interacting with nature has been proven to be important for people of all ages, aiding optimal physical and mental health. It’s potentially even more important to encourage a love of the outdoors from a young age and encourage natural experimentation and interaction with the world outside the classroom.
Being outside certainly provides more opportunities to run around and burn off steam, which as any carer of young children will know is a necessity to keep them happy and reduce behavioural problems, as well as staying healthy and active.
Allow Exploration of all Five Senses
Anyone with young children will know that mess is inevitable but messy play is not just an inconvenience for adults in fact it’s an important way for young children to learn about the world. Activities such as messy and sensory play allow children to make their own discoveries about materials and carry out their own mini experiments to learn about the world.
Messy play can be a multi-sensory experience, involving sight, touch, smell, sound, and even taste. Engaging multiple senses has been shown to help children learn and remember more effectively.
Exploring different tactile materials such as sand, water, paint, dough, and slime can also be a social activity and can encourage language development as children learn new vocabulary to describe the texture and properties of different materials.