A community learning through play:
connecting parents, teachers & children
"Whether the weather be fine or whether the weather be not", we love to play outdoors at Watchung Co-op! At the preschool age, children have only had a few wintery or rainy days under their belts. We believe that as children are the ultimate scientists, outdoors is the ultimate and ever-changing lab. They are concrete learners and the outdoors gives the ultimate hands-on experiences. Digging in wet dirt is different from digging in dry dirt and those are entirely different from digging in snow. If the grass is wet, it feels different when we run. The sounds all around us are entirely different when the weather changes. There are so many opportunities for learning just by being outside, in all kinds of weather. They wonder and question and are able to test their predictions right away. The variety of weather gives them different perspectives and adds to their growing wealth of knowledge about the world and how it works. They build gross motor skills. They increase their heart rate with the exercise they get outside. Being outside allows us to have a little less time in closer quarters where we are inevitably exposed to the germs of others. Children also experience a different kind of play when they are outside. Outdoor play opportunities provide even more variety of problem-solving, imaginative play, and socializing. And they tend to enjoy it immensely! Outdoor play is such a crucial part of our day at the co-op; we reserve all-indoor days for only the most extreme weather. And we really feel that by being prepared with the right clothing, our outdoor experiences can be one of the most enjoyable parts of the day.
--Ms. Anneliese, DPK Teacher
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