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How can outdoor exploration and play benefit the development of children in their early years?

At our Bethesda preschool, we believe that using art, music, dance, teamwork, and outdoor exploration to teach children is a great approach to early learning. This is why now more than ever; we must acknowledge the importance of outdoor exploration when it comes to the impact it has on early childhood development. Not only does it act as an essential part of a child's learning, but it can greatly benefit children's mental and physical health and well-being. Keep reading to discover the benefits of spending time outdoors for early child development.


1. Facilitates discovering the natural environment


Having an outside area allows children to connect with nature and explore different types of living things such as plants. This can have a calming effect on them as well as help them learn about their natural environment and the world around them. Children can also discover sensory information, such as scents and sounds.


2. Supports emotional and social skills


Playing outside offers children the possibility to explore and process feelings in a situation that they can control. Being outdoors is the perfect place for children to make friends as well as develop their social and emotional skills by engaging in group activities and problem-solving.


3. Allows the development of advanced motor skills


Playing outside allows kids to develop their motor skills - including agility, balance, and coordination - more than children who spend most of their time indoors. Children in schools such as our Bethesda preschool, which encourage and offer kids time to spend playing and learning outdoors, are more likely to move in ways that challenge their muscles, bones, and physical endurance. Kids can walk, play and swing, play catch, crawl under bushes, climb, etc.


4. Offers better general health and a boost of vitamin D


Spending time in the sunlight can enhance a child's mood and bolster their immune system. Outdoor activities can also help kids get proper amounts of vitamin D, also known as an important vitamin that is crucial for child development, helping to maintain a healthy body and mind, and one of the best natural sources is the sun. Kids need sufficient levels of vitamin D to build strong, healthy bones and teeth, as well as produce serotonin, which is essential for stabilizing their mood, brains, and nervous system.


There are multiple benefits when it comes to outdoor learning and exploration. At our Bethesda preschool, we believe that playing outside is the best place to help children blossom, bloom, flourish, explore, create, discover, and challenge themselves through curiously exploring natural landscapes. Children are born explorers and have a natural attraction for going outside as it is a place of abundant opportunities for them to learn.

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