Letter from the Director!
As teachers and parents, you don’t have to plan for science lessons when you take young children outside. Children are natural explorers and discoverers, and you can bring whatever interests them back to your classroom or home play space for further exploration. By turning their questions into group inquiry projects, you’ll soon have several starting points for emergent curriculum. A pine cone won’t start to spread open quickly enough to satisfy a curious child—it could take months for changes to appear! But there are faster-growing seeds, peas, green beans, corn, and grass that are perfect for classroom experiments. During this terrible time of the pandemic, it’s even more important that children are taken outside. The sunlight is a natural disinfectant. Here at Delaware Child Development, we will be outside as much as possible. Expect to see more meals eaten outdoors, walks taken, and lots of water play in our beautiful stream.
Being outside helps develop children’s large gross motor skills. Physical skills are important for growth, physical coordination, and the movement of the body. When children play outdoors, they increase their ability to balance, jump, climb, throw, run, and skip. Outdoor free play is the spontaneous play that comes from children's natural curiosity, love of discovery, and enthusiasm. Children learn best when all of their senses are involved and when they are engaged in self-initiated, hands-on exploration of the world around them.
A study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that kids who spend time playing outside are at a reduced risk of developing "myopia," or nearsightedness. Outdoors play also promotes social skills, increases attention span, decreases stress, and increases vitamin D levels.
Please bring swimwear, water shoes, and lots of changes of clothes for your children. They will need them. As a reminder, please mark your child’s name in the tag with a permanent marker. Clothes do get mixed up here sometimes.