Springtime is finally upon us in Utah after an especially long winter, and children of varying ages are some of those who benefit most from this seasonal transition. Spring allows kids to more easily be back outdoors on a more regular basis, enjoying all the wonderful things nature brings to us.
At Devlin's Child Development, outdoor activities are always a big part of any of our Sandy child care programs, which include daycare, preschool and after-school care services. Here are numerous spring activities that are great for kids in both home and child care environments, plus what both parents and educators should be thinking about with regard to helping their kids learn about and take advantage of nature.
As a parent or educator, it's vital to remember that nature and the outdoors serve dual functions: they can both be a source of fun, and also an educational tool. Springtime offers a perfect time to teach kids about the various seasons, planting and growing, animal habitats, water cycles and more.
This should be the general approach when venturing outdoors with kids: engage them, help them explore and discover, provoke their curiosity. All of these things will result in a better understanding of the natural world around us.
One fantastic way to help kids get the most out of their outdoor experience is to do some nature crafts. This can take many forms; making wind chimes from found objects, creating bird feeders out of recycled materials, painting stones and seashells. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity.
For younger children, this can be a great way to help them learn how to express themselves artistically, and also give them an appreciation for the beauty of nature. And as they're getting older, kids can use natural objects to make more detailed and complex art pieces.
Of course, outdoor playtime is another great way for kids to enjoy spring and nature. Whether it's running around playing tag or hide-and-seek, climbing trees, building sandcastles at the beach or simply exploring the world around them, kids will absolutely love any opportunity to be outdoors.
All of these activities are especially beneficial for young children, who need lots of physical activity in order to stay healthy and fit. So make sure that you're setting aside plenty of time during the day for outside playtime!
During these settings, it's important to mix in structured activities with "free play" time. This will help the kids to stay focused and engaged, while also allowing them to use their imaginations and have fun.
Teamwork and cooperation are also concepts that can be taught in the outdoors. Scavenger hunts are a classic example of this, as they require collaboration and coordination among all of the participants.
These kinds of activities can also be great tools for teaching kids about problem solving, communication, and other skills that will serve them well in life. Plus, it's just plain fun!
Teaching kids about plants and gardening can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. Planting a small flower or vegetable garden is something that can be done together, and it's an excellent way for kids to learn about the natural cycles of life and growth.
This kind of activity will not only give children a sense of accomplishment with their own progress, but it will also provide them with a greater understanding of how nature works and how their actions can have an effect.
Another great activity to do with kids in the outdoors is to build something together, such as a birdhouse or other small structures. This can be especially rewarding if you allow each child to have a say in the design and construction of the project.
This type of activity should not only provide an opportunity for learning about nature, but also give them an opportunity to exercise their creative problem-solving skills.
Springtime is a wonderful time for kids to explore and discover the world around them, and with the right combination of activities, it can be a truly enriching experience. So make sure you take advantage of all that nature has to offer during this special season!
At Devlin's Child Development, we strive to provide children of all ages with the opportunity to explore, discover and grow in numerous ways - including outdoor activities, particularly during the spring. For more here, or to learn about any of our child care or educational programs in Sandy, speak to our caring staff today.