The weather is amazing today. As fall approaches and the cooler days join us on the playground it gets difficult to stay cooped up inside. Some may think that it is easier for the teachers when the children play outside but that is far from reality. Being outside we get to work more on our social skills but usually gross ( large ) motor skills are tied into that. Dallas and I join children non- stop through the day outside to assist them in using words instead of hands to talk and helping tame frustrations when things dont go the way a child thinks they should. And… that is often. 🙂
We learn when there are conflicts to sit down and talk about it . If as teachers we helicopter in and settle it for them every time they learn nothing other than if it escalates enough someone else will resolve it. Asking children to sit down and talk about the problem and how it can be worked out is powerful for everyone involved.
Being outside for extended periods allows our family bond to build as well. Accidents are going to happen. Accidents are going to happen….. This gives us opportunity to take care of each other and develop empathy.
Being a family childcare provider and not having to share our space with other s allows us to take days like this . The wonderful thing is ALMOST anything we do inside can be done in our outdoor classroom as well. We ate our apple cinnamon muffins , apples, and milk on the porch while I read a story from a BIG BOOK about apples. We found out that before an apple grows on a tree a flower grows.
We also read a story called ” The Little Red House. ” It is a story about a little red house with no door and no windows and a chimney. It also has a star in the middle.
We practiced our fine motor skills by tearing red paper to make an apple. Tearing paper is actually a pretty tough job for little guys . The havent figured out yet that using the fingers instead of a hand grip makes the paper rip more easily.
We went on a Red Hunt in the neighborhood. This was our first purposeful walk. Yes , we were looking for red things.
But , the main goal was to teach safety while walking One of the biggest advantages we have as a family child care home preschool in the middle of town is our ability to walk and explore our neighborhood. We still have children running from us or not stopping when we say stop. Little walks around the block like this one help us to learn safe walking rules so that we can get ready for our BIG walks. The children know our first goal is the park. We love to visit the park . When we all have safe walking rules and stop when the teacher says stop.. that will be our treat.
Some of the rules while we are walking are :
We walk like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I am the bread. Dallas is the bread. The children are the peanut butter and jelly. The peanut butter and jelly always stays in the middle. It would be silly to have a sandwich with the peanut butter and jelly on top .
We each have a partner and hold hands.
When a car comes near us we freeze.
Other things we practice are staying on the side walk or the grass. Stopping at all corners and looking and listening for cars.
Its a lot. I know. That is why we practice. As safe keepers we have to make sure we are ready before we take walks in our community .
On our walk you will not BELIEVE WHAT WE FOUND !!! TWO STINKIN” APPLE TREES ~~~~ We were apple to see the blossoms forming on the trees but no apples yet . We plan to go back and document the changes that we see and hopefully see some apples !
Can I tell you what playing and learning outside does all day for a group of preschoolers ? They are sound asleep ( most ) and not moving an inch.