Sitting at desks all day and memorizing information makes learning harder for kids. That’s especially true for very young children.
For preschoolers, play and learning go hand in hand. And being outdoors enhances the learning experience. Through outdoor exploration, preschoolers learn to think critically. They also discover the natural world and learn to solve problems.
That’s why a preschool outdoor classroom is such an effective learning environment. This inclusive outdoor space takes full advantage of learning through play. Here’s what you need to know to build one for your preschoolers.
The Benefits of Outdoor Play
It may seem like a hassle to take a group of preschoolers outdoors, especially in winter. But fresh air and sunshine are essential for well-being year-round.
And the benefits of outdoor play are well documented. A preschool child builds physical, cognitive, and social skills through outdoor play experience. Some of the significant advantages to getting preschoolers outdoors regularly include:
- Boosting activity levels
- Improving gross and fine motor skills
- Broadening sensory experiences
- Improving concentration
- Enabling better social connection
- Building confidence
Access to development-focused playgrounds and outdoor classrooms amplifies these benefits. Outdoor spaces that incorporate inclusive playgrounds work for children of all ability levels.
What Are Inclusive Playgrounds?
Inclusive playgrounds are designed to engage children of all ability levels. They offer accessible activities that develop physical, social, cognitive, and emotional skills. But they’re not simply minimally accessible play areas.
Inclusive playgrounds offer high-quality play opportunities. They are physically accessible for children with and without mobility issues. But also engage children with a variety of needs and interests.
Inclusive playgrounds allow children of all abilities to play together. They let each child feel they belong.
Outdoor Classroom Design
A preschool outdoor classroom is a special space. It takes the concept of inclusive play areas to the next level.
Outdoor classrooms allow you to offer structured, targeted child development activities. And you can take full advantage of the benefits of outdoor play.
Good outdoor classroom design includes a variety of activities and challenges. They’re designed to accommodate the physical, intellectual, and emotional needs of children. And to do so at many different ability levels.
Outdoor learning enables children to discover the world around them. It also gives them opportunities to develop new skills.
A preschool outdoor classroom can include a wide variety of activity centers. Some popular ideas include:
- Sensory play areas
- Accessible gardens
- Weather stations
- Art and Music centers
- Physical challenges
- Water play areas
- Shaded areas
The possibilities are limited only by the space available and your imagination.
Inclusive Preschool Outdoor Classroom
Inclusive outdoor spaces are accessible, sensory-rich, and welcoming. They’re places where children of all abilities can play, learn, and grow together. The right design makes all the difference.
The Adventurous Child specializes in creating outdoor learning spaces for young children. Our dedication to early childhood and preschool learning inspires everything we create. That includes outdoor classrooms and natural playgrounds.
We have certified playground safety inspectors (CPSI) and playground designers. They can help plan the right preschool outdoor classroom for you and your children. Contact us today to learn more.