Family Time – Here, There, Everywhere An Outing at the Park
Play is the most powerful learning tool for a child’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development. Young children are natural explorers. They learn by trial and error as they play and experiment.
Play has several important and universal characteristics. The first is self-motivation. In other words, even if your child needs some specific help and guidance, play will spring from your child’s own interest and needs. Though parents can understand and promote the important role of play, for the child play is an end in itself, to be enjoyed for its own sake. The goal of play is to have fun, to enjoy others, to experiment and make mistakes, and to practice skills in a natural way.
Next time you go to a park together as a family, consider the different ways your multi-age children find exactly what they need for their own kind of play. We love the park on Lake Parker, there are so MANY fun ways to enjoy the park. Please feel free to comment to this BLOG to share your favorite park and park activities.
As in class, we enjoy watching the animals, feeding the ducks, watching for wildlife, such as frogs and squirrels. Have your little ducklings been catching many fish???
Simply being outside brings complete joy to most children of all ages. A park provides your baby with sights, sounds, smells, and textures found no where else in his daily environment. It is his JOB to explore all these things fully! Just being outside on a picnic blanket with a lot of safe things to explore can give a baby a wonderful experience as he watches birds and trees overhead, or explores leaves and picnic objects while sitting, or on his belly.
Explore Textures and Science with your Toddler
For your toddler, the world is a huge science lab full of discoveries just waiting to be uncovered. You might bring along your picnic basket full of kitchen sound makers and homemade instruments and strike up some fun music, like we did in class today. That assortment of sounds help them develop their “vocabulary of sounds”, or as we say in music, recognizing the different “timbres” of a sound.
Creative game playing and pretend play with your preschooler and older child
Of course, your preschooler / grade schooler will surprise you with inventions and ideas you never imagined. And some may have a knack for getting other children involved. Circle games like “Ring Around the Rosie” or “Shoe Fly” or “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” are an excellent way to generate some fun social interactions. You can even use your picnic basket blanket like we used the parachute for the circle activity. The little ones sure loved being underneath.
Page 11 in your Sing, Play & Grow book is full of “go outside and play” ideas. Grab your picnic basket (or cooler) and bag of goodies, and enjoy being outside as a family!