So I started thinking about this aspect, and I had to think long & hard as it is very unusual to ever see an adult walking about holding a child's hand in our playground. Now don't get me wrong, all adults in the classroom are affectionate with the children, you will see children sitting on an adult's knee or leaning up against them but we consciously make an effort not to walk about with a child holding onto our hands -if they are doing this they are not engaging with their peers. Sometimes, especially at the start of the school year some children will need an adult to take them by the hand to show them the possibilities of the playground but from experience it does noone any favours to just trail around after an adult. When we first started out links with a nearby special school, this was the main thing their teachers commented on - how they were going to start putting their hands in their pockets so the children couldn't take their hands & just follow them about. When they saw how their children were following my class about - up steep banks, into piles of leaves, mainly off the paths, they realised they were literally holding their children back.
In the 6 years we have been going outside every morning I can think of 3-4 children who would have prefered to have stayed inside if given a choice. And this is my main reason for having a set outdoor & indoor time as some children would never chose to be outside if given the chance. For some of the children who don't want to be outside it is as simple as just not being used to being outside. Sometimes they are just cold, so we have a box of extra coats on offer now. Luckily we have a covered verandah area where even on the wettest days, children can stay dry if they don't want to go out in the rain. In this area we have the sandpit, a house corner, the snack table & at least 2 other table activities e.g. farm animals, drawing etc. It's not uncommon to have 24 children out playing in the rain all dressed in waterproofs & 2 playing quietly on their own in the verandah area.
But I have to honestly say, that it is very rare for us to have any child unhappy or unmotivated to be outside.
I'm a fan of lots of photos in posts & I really enjoyed looking at the children having so much fun rolling their hula hoops down the hill in the post from my fellow co-host over at Flights of Whimsy. I really wish I had some sort of slope in my playground. I love enjoying the summer photos from Australia while we are still experiencing Winter here.
How did your kids play outdoors this week?
- Any kind of children's outdoor play-related posts are welcome!
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