The Importance of Outdoor Learning in Childcare

At an early age, children are discovering how their bodies work, learning how to coordinate their movements and are creating important neurological pathways as their minds develop. Ben and Ari loved the outdoor activities and area at Pinocchio Early Learning Centre in Curtin and had seen the benefits in all of their four children as they progressed through the centre.

Sensory exposure

Creating opportunities for children to learn outdoors helps them use and develop all their senses as they partake in activities. Trees, shrubbery, insects and birds, natural ground coverings like grass and forest floor expose the children to natural smells and textures, sounds and visual stimuli. These sensory experiences combine with the need for children to use their physical strength, energy, balance and coordination to negotiate natural environments. Childcare centres ensure healthy development in each child with well-designed outdoors play and learning areas. 

Room to be

Free outdoor play lets children extend themselves as much as they desire. They can make noise, build large structures, run faster and climb higher. Getting dirty or messy is allowed, and their creativity and curiosity can be explored to greater extents. Risk taking is an important part of child development and is vital for children to discover their own boundaries. The safe yet challenging environment of an outdoor play area developed along educational guidelines such as at Pinocchio Early Learning is a good example of how children can be encouraged to extend their personal limits in a secure setting. 

Learning the curriculum outdoors. 

Important skills and concepts are learnt organically as children are presented with natural challenges. Spatial awareness, balance, eye-hand coordination and decision making are all put to the test as they climb, carry twigs or logs, build structures or run through leaves. Childcare educators use the outdoors to introduce curriculum areas such as mathematics, science and literacy, using natural objects to count, and learn about shapes and properties. 

Ben and Ari are always happy to recommend their children’s childcare centre to any new parents, attributing the outdoor learning emphasis on their own children’s positive and healthy development.