Why more time outdoors might be the answer that you have been searching for.
Parents are being asked to juggle work responsibilities at home with caring for their children full time. It’s a lot to manage, but there is a simple solution to help cope with the stresses created by these new at-home scenarios while supporting positive behavior from your children. Head outside!
While restrictions have been put on many everyday activities, the CDC continues to recommend that children spend time outdoors as long as they are practicing social distancing procedures. This is for good reason, as time spent outdoors:
- Lowers stress levels.
- Improves mental health.
- Helps reduce hyperactivity.
- Promotes healthy development and physical fitness for children and adults.
Perhaps the most relevant benefit of spending time outdoors is that your child will come inside with an increased ability to focus on learning, allowing you to return to your other responsibilities. Here are a few tips for making the most of the outdoor time.
Go with the Flow
When heading outdoors, you don’t have to worry about a concrete plan for activities. Let your children lead the way in exploring their environment. You can introduce loose parts such as buckets, balls, toy cars, trucks or sidewalk chalk, or you can get creative with building, stacking and drawing with your children. Pose questions like, “What will happen if we do this?” or “Can you build a tower as high as your belly button?” or “Can you draw a picture of our family?” Follow your children’s interests for what to do next.
If you feel you need a more concrete plan when heading outdoors, consider taking a nature hike and observing the world around you. Ask your children what they hear as you walk and discuss what they think is making those sounds. If you don’t have a trail nearby, you can head into your backyard or a nearby outdoor space and listen for different sounds.
Indoor Activities Can Go Outdoors
You can also take some of your children’s favorite books outside and have an outdoor story time or create a nature scavenger hunt and ask your children to find different natural items like something green, something rough, a piece of grass as long as their fingers, a piece of tree bark or a smooth stone. Simple questions and prompts open the door to more involved investigations and learning opportunities for you and your children.
The next time you feel overwhelmed with your dual responsibilities and your children’s behavior is becoming a little more difficult, head outside!
Goddard School of Long Hill provides programs rooted in discovery learning for children age 6 weeks to 6 years old.
Through their F.L.EX. learning program (Fun Learning Experience), children have access to play-based curriculum in areas including chess, music, yoga, drama and foreign language. In fact, results of a third party review found that, on average, Goddard students score 45% higher on literacy and mathematics!