At Sunnyside ELC, we take pride in promoting outdoor learning, ensuring children have opportunities of accessing the great outdoors on a daily basis. Children access outdoors in all weathers, which allows interests to be explored and discovering their world around them.
Building on what our children already know and extending their learning first hand through a variety of learning experiences and activities such as mud kitchen, ball skills, role play, numeracy, literacy skills, gardening, loose parts play promoting children’s curiosity, imagination, problem solving skills, and also opportunities and ability to manage risk in a safe environment. Sometimes we are go out on adventures exploring our local community e.g. library, shops, train station, local woodland, parks etc.
More importantly however, there is strong and compelling evidence that playing and learning outdoors has many benefits for children:
- Enhances child development – high level functions such as creativity, interpersonal skills, empathy and negotiation are improved.
- Improves learning for sustainability – developing a connection to nature and an understanding of environment and place as a child increases likelihood of caring about these things as an adult.
- Self-esteem and confidence are increased through free play outdoors, making own decisions, problem solving and managing boundaries.
- Well-being is improved by being outdoors in nature which has a calming effect.