Kids today don’t have the same kind of rich and meaningful experiences of playing and learning outside that many of us had when we were young.
We know that kids will face new challenges in the mid-21st century. These challenges are hard to predict, so we are tasked with figuring out what is timeless. What are the skills, habits, and mindsets we should teach to prepare future generations to succeed? What is the thing that will always spark passion? As the world continues to change around us, one thing still remains foundational: We know learning is most engaging when students experience it in the real world. The research on the importance of outdoor play is clear and shows that students who spend time outdoors exhibit increased focus, confidence, memory, environmental awareness, and problem solving skills.
Don’t take our word for it, hear it from them!
“… It is good for vestibular development. Vestibular means kids’ brains are developing by moving through space. Children develop good balance, fine motor skills, strong muscle tone, and it supports language development. According to experts, vestibular development “helps a child be ready to learn when starting school.” – Eva, fifth grade
“Playing on spinner equipment enhances the health of the users. Using a spinner develops flexibility because it helps you practice flexibility in order to reach and hold on. Spinner play develops core body strength by holding on and maneuvering the spinner. Kids exercise their upper and lower body on spinners.” – Andrew, fifth grade
“Kids can use covered slides for imaginative play, too. I read in a “Ladybug Girl” book once that she pretended a covered slide was an enormous snake. I mean, how fun is that? I also once pretended that a covered slide was a garbage chute that shot me out of a spaceship! Imaginative play is important for developing children.” – Carson, fifth grade