Just popping in to say Happy Monday! Spring is finally here and the students are greatly enjoying the warmer weather and sunshine during their brain breaks.
Outdoor play has been shown to leave kids with more advanced motor skills than their “indoor” peers, including coordination, balance and agility. When kids are outside, they are are inventing games, exploring the world around them and experiencing feelings of independence. Besides building independence, they also cultivate their organizational abilities and decision-making skills as they work both individually and with their peers to create games, solve problems and implement their ideas and solutions. As kids play, they also learn more about the importance of creating and following rules. Time spent in nature can also have positive physical effects on things like blood pressure, pulse rate, nervous system activity, and cortisol (the “stress hormone”) levels. Mental well being is improved by decreasing anxiety and depression and increasing a positive mental attitude. Positive cognitive effects on executive functioning skills such as attention, self-discipline, impulse control, short-term memory, working memory, and concentration are also seen when children spend time outdoors. All of this regulates a child’s sensory system while releasing built up energy which allows the children to better focus in the classroom. It’s amazing how 15-20 minutes spent outside can create the necessary building blocks for a successful day at school!