Outdoor play is critical for young children in our early childhood programs. Many of the developmental tasks that children must achieve—exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development and the absorption of vast amounts of basic knowledge—can be most effectively learned through outdoor play.
Outdoor play enables young children to learn lots of things about the world. How does ice feel and sound? Can sticks stand up in sand? How do plants grow? How does mud feel? Why do we slide down instead of up? How do I make my tricycle go faster? Why do I have a shadow? Do butterflies have to learn to fly? Much of what a child learns outside can be learned in a variety of other ways, but learning it outside is particularly effective—and certainly more fun! In the outside playground children can learn math, science, ecology, gardening, construction, vocabulary, the seasons, the various times of the day, and all about the local weather.
As parents yourselves you know how quickly bacteria and viruses spread in these early years environments. One way to reduce the spread of infection is through lots and lots of fresh air. Outdoor play enables the infectious agents to spread out and be dissipated; it also enables children to get fresh air and exercise and be less constrained than they are in the classroom.
Tallaght Childcare Centre bring the children out in all weathers and allow them the opportunity to jump in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and slide on the ice and maybe even get the opportunity to build a snowman.