I recently read an article about the developmental benefits to play, specifically outdoor play, for “preschool aged” (age 2-5 years old) children. Evidently a child’s brain learns best during full body play, play in which all senses are used. This style of play is easily achieved while outdoors.
“…it is through active free play outdoors where children start to build many of the foundational life skills they need in order to be successful for years to come.” – Washington Post
Ironically Tiny is not the biggest fan of the outdoors. She likes being outside but doesn’t like being dirty. She stands and watches. Destructo on the other hand would life in our backyard tree if allowed. She embraces the dirt; rolling in it, slashing in it, eating it.
I know my children better because we went on a walk in the woods. I learn just as much playing in our backyard of course. I am partial to the woods. I grew up walking in the woods as therapy. The woods were my quiet place, my escape. They are also one of my favorite places to photograph.
Take the time to sit in the mud with your kids. Throw leaves, find bugs, and take a nice hot bath when you get home. But most importantly just enjoy no destruction, no noise, nothing but you and your kids playing in nature using all 5 senses at once. We don’t need science to tell us its good for them; and we don’t need it to be about “a better educational future.” Its fun, free, and frankly some of the best times we have together.