A calm and natural outdoor environment provides an ever-changing landscape for children to explore. Visiting the same space regularly and for extended periods allows children to notice something new each day and encourages them to go deeper into their play and learning in this real world classroom. Surrounded by nature and without conventional toys, children learn to use their imagination and get creative in adapting their surroundings to their play.
Play is such an important part of life but especially for young children. In fact it is one of their rights as set out by the United Nations. Play is an integral part of their growth, learning and understanding of the world. With ample time and little pressure a child's imagination can go anywhere. Play also greatly aids their social and emotional skills, a child's brain development, problem solving skills and overall health.
Quite simply we learn best if we are interested in the topic. Through free play the children will clearly show the educators their areas of interest. The educators can then plan to deepen this learning in many ways. This may look like asking simple, thought provoking questions to the children during their play right through to adapting the surroundings to aid their curiosity.
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