Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Learning about the environment in the Early Years

It's widely publicised that play and learning outdoors have a positive impact on children's well-being and their development. Outdoor learning is fun, giving children room to explore and investigate nature, improving physical abilities and experiences the sights, sounds, smells and movement. Being outdoors also introduces young children to our environment with first hand experiences with weather, seasons and the natural world.

Playing outdoors provide children from birth to 5 years old with the following opportunities: 
  • be excited, energetic, adventurous, noisy, messy
  • talk, listen, interact, make friends
  • imagine, dream, invent, fantasise
  • create, invent, construct, de-construct
  • investigate, explore, discover, experiment with their own ideas and theories
  • make sounds and music, express ideas and feelings
  • find patterns, make marks, explore different media and materials
  • investigate concepts and ideas
  • be active, run, climb, pedal, jump, throw
  • dig, grow, nurture, cultivate
  • hide, relax, find calm, reflect
  • take risks
  • have responsibility, be independent, collaborate with others
A popular activity for learning about the environment is gardening; it helps children to develop to greater understanding of the world around us with gardening in containers or outdoor spaces. Planting fruit and veg, weeding and sweeping leaves are some activities that promotes care and concern for the environment.

Early Years Resources based in the UK provides an excellent range of outdoor learning resources and equipment such as gardening equipment for children, nature exploration kits and weather resources.