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Outdoor Play

hidden-jewels

Now that the snow has finally come, this is a great time to hunt for “jewels” in the playground.  To begin you need several ice cube trays and fill with water and add a drop of food colouring of your choice into the water.  Allow to freeze overnight.  The next day before heading outside for playtime, fill up plastic baggies and take them with you. Spread them out in designated areas or you can hide them and use them for math questions…..can you find 10?, Can you sort these by colour and count? etc. 

We called them jewels to make it exciting!

enjoying-the-sunshine

Today was one of those perfect autumn days.  The sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was warm.   We decided to take advantage of this weather, while we still could!

For Phys. Ed class, we spent the entire 50 minutes outside.  We took out balls for kids to run after, sand toys for them to create and build things with, and we also took out light weight mesh scarves.

With the scarves, the wind was blowing so a few of the students followed me to a large open space on the playground.  We threw them up in the air and tried to spin, run, clap and other fun actions before trying to catch them.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the same kind of day.  I am looking forward to giving the children some more extra time to spend outdoors and be active.

enjoying-the-sunshine

My teaching partner and I believe in using our playground as a classroom extension.  Children can learn valuable skills while playing outdoors.  For example, in the sandbox, they learn spatial awareness while building creations.  They also use creative thinking, problem solving, turn taking, sharing, and can recreate the world they know.  Children can also develop their gross motor skills outdoors.  They have room to run, jump, tumble and play co-operative games.  There is playground equipment they can climb on, swing on and hang from.  It is also an amazing time for science.  Children can find insects, caterpillars, plants, flowers, etc…and these can turn into valuable teachable moments.

Today, it was a beautiful Fall day.  So, we decided to dedicate our free play time this afternoon to the great outdoors.  We headed outside with pails, shovels, balls, scoops, skipping ropes, and cars for over an hour.  I hope we have more beautiful days like this to enjoy, and to give the children the time outdoors they need.