Nurturing Your Child’s Spirit Outdoors
Evidence is growing that all children find solace and re-gain balance with exposure to nature. The opportunity to explore outdoors in an unstructured, unscheduled manner not only builds coordination and strong healthy bodies but also calms children and helps them focus. In addition, children with frequent opportunities to play outdoors grow their problem-solving skills and develop their curiosity. There are also studies reinforcing the connection between outdoor learning and school success in science, writing, gardening, botany, ecology, etc.
Connecting with nature takes time, intentional, unhurried time. The earlier young children are exposed to prolonged time outdoors the more familiar and comfortable they will be with nature and its rhythms and the more connected they will be to the land as they mature.
This spring take your babies and toddlers outside, and not just in a stroller. Spread a blanket on the grass so your baby can see the sky, experience the wind, smell the grass. Let your toddler get dirty, find treasures, experience freedom. Teach them the vocabulary of nature: the names of the trees and flowers, insects, weather, and share their delight in the joy of discovery.
Head of School
West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.