Outside play in kindergarten
In kindergarten at the International School Utrecht we value our outside play. Our children are expected to dress sensibly in either rain gear, snowsuits, or sun hats, wearing sunscreen. Our motto is: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”
By Panagiota Fameli, classroom teacher KG Green
Sometimes parents fear that exposure to inclement weather makes children sick, but in my experience as a kindergarten teacher, children who regularly spend time in the open air (properly dressed of course) stay healthier than those kept indoor.
Playing outside for prolonged periods has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s development, particularly in the areas of balance and agility, but also in those of physical coordination, tactile sensitivity, and depth perception. For these reasons, at ISUtrecht, we try to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors.
We make the most of our school’s garden and outdoor facilities. We have outside picnics, or outside lessons and we play in our great playground every day. We expand our learning with gardening, research connected to our units in the nearby pond, or exploring the small ecosystems around us. Our playground is our second classroom and we love it as much and sometimes even more!
For our last unit of inquiry, we had a special visitor explaining to us the importance of biological farming. Under his guidance, we planted mint and strawberry plants and started our very own inside and outside plant nursery with radish and chard seeds.
We couldn’t have any other name but kindergarten Green since we make sure to make green choices for ourselves and our environment, even if it is by planting one more strawberry plant. We are learning to enjoy and respect our garden, our environment, and our school.
If you haven’t experienced something incredible today, go outside!