Many parents do not realise the benefit that outdoor play has on their children’s intellectual and cognitive development. The great outdoors gives limitless opportunities for exploration and discovery. As spring inches its way into our lives and the evenings are drawing out, here are some ways that you can enrich your child’s development just by embracing the outdoors.
Exploring is a great way of introducing your child to the wonders of the outdoors. From looking out for different species of wildlife to discovering the texture of the mud between their toes. It doesn’t mean that you have to venture out to the woods every day after school, the beauty of nature can be found in the tiniest places. Try using a magnifying glass to look up closely at bugs and leaves and you will be surprised at how long it keeps your kids occupied.
Use your old pots and pans to create a muddy kitchen in your garden. Playing in mud provides a fantastic sensory experience. Mud also comes in many forms providing room for experimentation in particular for the little ones who are learning about textures and feelings. Getting muddy is a great way to inspire creativity in children and is also great for building their immune systems – don’t be scared for your kids to get muddy whilst exploring and having fun, they can always jump in a big bubble bath later on!
Make rose petal perfume…
Here are the simple steps to making child friendly rose petal perfume. A great way of spending time with your little one outdoors:
Gather 30-35 rose petals
Put them into a cup
Put water in the cup then strain it out leaving the rose petals
Mash up the rose petals - having a mortar and pestle will make this easier
Return the rose petals to the water and strain out any moisture- keep repeating this step until the water turns a pink/brown colour
Take out the rose petals and enjoy your perfume
Children find the prospect of growing their own plants thrilling! From sunflowers and pansies to tomatoes and strawberries. It’s the perfect time of year to get some pots and plant some seedlings and watch the fruits of your labour grow over the summer months. You should observe the plant throughout the growing process, keeping your children involved in the maintenance and feeding.
Make a Fairy GardenWhen the weather is too cold to grow plants/vegetables what better way to spend time outdoors than making a fairy garden! Children love the exciting prospect of fairies. Sprinkle fairy dust (glitter and sand) and wait for the fairies to leave their footprints in the garden! Leave some food and make little homes out of twigs. This activity will teach children to use their imagination through outdoor play, which is fantastic for cognitive development.