With an average of 31% of children aged 2-5 getting less than 3 hours of outdoor time per week (see Kiddi Caru Survey). It is so important for little ones to get outside every day, come rain or shine, to see the wonders of nature and to feel connected to the world around them.
As the weather turns crisp and the sunny days are not guaranteed, it can be difficult to motivate your family to get outside. However, at Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group we believe there is no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing. So, pack a brolly, add that extra woolly layer and venture out into your local parks and woodland areas to see the spectacle nature is providing and the learning opportunities to discover with your child during this changing season.
With the leaves turning orange and wildlife bustling in their preparations for Winter there is so much to see and do outside this Autumn! So, where to start? Why not get involved with the Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group scavenger hunt**?
Download your Kiddi Caru scavenger hunt check list here and take your little one on a hunt throughout your local area to find:
1. Orange leaf
2. Red leaf
3. Yellow leaf
4. Green leaf
8. Winged seed
13. White Cloud
14. Red berry
Explore the different objects and encourage your child to compare the weights, sizes and textures. You may find that your little one enjoys collecting one object more than others, such as tree rubbings when looking at the tree bark patterns. So, make sure to bring a variety of coloured crayons to create a tree collages of rubbings from different trees to see how the bark creates a multitude of patterns. Or if your child particularly liked hunting for conkers, discovering their spiky shell and the shinny brown seed inside, take time to find as many as you can. Point out what the conker tree looks like to see if they can identify any more and compare the different shapes and sizes the conkers grow in.
Keep your paint brushes in the draw. All you need is to provide your little one with paint, paper and their scavenger hunt collection to create their Autumnal masterpiece. Help to develop your child’s fine motor skills and grip by rolling the pinecone, acorn and conker through the paint and across the page to see the different patterns they create. Your child can choose to print with their leaves and winged seed, or you can attach the leaves to the twig to provide a natural paint brush!
It can be difficult to venture to a park or woodland regularly. However, you can bring nature to you by creating your own bird feeder to encourage wildlife to visit you throughout Autumn and Winter when food is a little harder to find.
Of course, you can visit your local garden centre but at Kiddi Caru we love to use recyclable materials whenever possible. So, all you need to create your own bird feeder with your child is toilet roll tubes, peanut butter, bird feed and a piece of ribbon. View our step by step video on how to create your own here.
Once ready, hang in a visible area in your garden and keep an eye out to see the different birds that come to visit you. Visit the RSPB website to identify with your child what birds you have attracted and others that you may see.
Parents that have been battling to get their little ones to sleep through will be pleased to know fresh air and sunshine, as well as the addition of exercise, makes babies and toddlers sleep better, according to research.
Babies and toddlers learn through their five senses. Outdoors provides a multi-sensory place to play and have new experiences with unfamiliar sights, sounds, smells and things to touch.
The great thing about nature is that it is always changing too, forever giving little ones something new to explore and learn.
Babies, toddlers and young children are learning to use all parts of their body in new and exciting ways. From walking, to jumping and pincer grips. Outdoors gives multiple opportunities for children to develop their gross and fine motor skills with a whole new range of textures and environments that present new challenges that test their skills.
Being outside allows children to become more physically active, as the wide open spaces encourage them to run, jump, roll and crawl their way through different spaces. There are also other health benefits such as Vitamin D exposure. Too many children are deficient in this vital vitamin that aids growth, so by adding more outside time to their weekly routine you are helping them get the nutrients they need to thrive and develop.
Giving children the opportunity to explore nature will help them grow up to become more environmentally aware. This can have a knock-on effect in other aspects of their life such as being more conscious of energy consumption and ensuring they dispose of litter and recycle responsibly.
All Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries and Preschools have exceptional outdoor spaces and fully encourage little ones to spend time outside, want to see for yourself? Why not book a visit to one of our nurseries near you!