According to the ‘Guideline to the Learning and Development of Children Aged 3 to 6 in China’, it is proposed that a well-developed body, pleasant mood, strong physical fitness, co-ordinated movements, good living habits and basic living ability are important signs of children’s physical and mental health, and also the foundation for children to learn and develop in other areas. In the UK’s EYFS system, the development of children’s physical fitness is a very important part of this basic field. And of course, the EYFS helps children develop their overall abilities through communication, language, personal social and emotional development.
We cannot ignore or deny the importance of outdoor activities for a child’s growth. Huili Nursery Hangzhou provides children with a large area for outdoor activities including a lot of simple structure resources. We encourage children to explore in these outdoor areas, to lead and initiate games and become the owner of their own games.
Wellbeing has always been an important topic now and in the past. In Huili Nursery Hangzhou, activities are arranged to help understand children’s wellbeing. Through teachers’ observation and communication, we continue to enhance their performance.
It is essential that young children get frequent and extended amounts of time to spend in the outdoors. This gives them time to explore and learn, in opportunities that can only happen outdoors. Learning outdoors supports the development of a healthy and active lifestyle, giving them freedom to move and promoting a sense of wellbeing.
It gives them opportunities to access things which cannot happen indoors such as the seasons and weather. Exploring outside the classroom can help them make sense of the world around them and help them understand why and how to care for the environment, plants, animals and understand that we all co-depend on each other.
Very young children explore the world primarily through their senses, so offering a sensory rich environment outdoors helps their metacognitive processes. This enhances the child’s brain development and helps them make connections during the learning process.
Playing outside is the best way for children to develop their knowledge about risk management in their play and learn how to keep themselves safe. So, a child might run across uneven ground as fast as they can, trip and graze their knee. They may get upset and have to see the nurse, but that child will also know that next time, they should run a little slower when running over that uneven ground. Without that experience, the child is being inhibited from making certain decisions which they must experience in order to learn.