Outdoor play is one of the things that characterize childhood. Some of our favorite core childhood memories are when we spent time outside. Children need endless opportunities and time to explore, experiment, manipulate, reconfigure, expand, influence, imagine, change, marvel, discover, practice, take risks, sing, build, observe, create, play, and relax.
Since the outdoors is the greatest classroom of all time, at our centers just like inside we have designated areas to create art, enhance gross motor skills, build with loose parts, expand our imagination in dramatic play, experiment with different sensory materials, and an improved Outdoor Sanctuary Comfy Corner thanks to Children's Factory. With the Adapta Bench and Chair, we created a space where the children can come read, relax, and enjoy the outdoors.
We really believe in the importance of our indoor classrooms having comfy corners, so we have them as part of our outside areas as well. Even outside when emotions are big and in full effect, a child needs time and space or simply needs a break from hard moment in order to adjust. This kind of safe space empowers the child to be able to process/regulate their emotions, focus, and wind down, while teaching them to deal and work through their feelings, appreciate relaxation, honor the time they need, and give them a skill of a lifetime self-awareness + regulation.
This is a great place to start to pave the way to instill the foundation for independent doable social emotional tools for children to carry throughout the rest of their lives. And what better place than outside!