At Young Discoverers Care & Early Learning Centres we are very fortunate to have great outdoor spaces and lots of shade sails, so in our hot Queensland climate we can enjoy outdoor play in the shade. But what about in winter when the weather is cold?
Playing outside gives your child the chance to explore, have adventures, play games, test their physical limits, express themselves and build their self-confidence.
Outdoor play can also mean more mess – and more mess often means more fun!
Messy and water play are important aspects of our childcare curriculum. Children’s developing brains make new nerve connections while children play. Messy and water play creates opportunity for hands-on discovery and development. When your child is outside, they have more space and freedom for big movements like running, jumping, kicking and throwing. Physical activities like these are good for your child’s fitness and physical development. Spending time outdoors might lower your child’s chances of developing short-sightedness. Playing outside and being in natural environments can also help children relax and feel calm. This means outdoor play can be good for your child’s mental health and wellbeing too.
A common misconception is that children will get sick if they play outdoors when it is cold and wet, however, it is not exposure to the cold that causes viruses. It is more likely that bacteria and viruses will be found in unventilated indoor environments. Playing outside actually provides children with necessary fresh air and vitamin D which boosts the immune system.
So, send your child with warm clothes, a jacket and shoes and socks…which they will probably take off anyway! Please pack spare clothes for your child so we can change them when they get wet or dirty. We have a clothing exchange in the foyer so you can always have access to second hand clothes for kindy rather than sending them in their best clothes! Your child will be more likely to get involved in messy play if they are in comfortable clothes that they know can get dirty.