What it means to be an Outside Kid
What do you do all day?
Where do you have school?
How do the children get there and how do parents know when and where?
Do you have an inside place for severe weather?
These are the questions I am often, well, always asked whenever I am asked about Outside Kids.
Here are the quick and easy answers
1. Play explore and learn to care about our environment
2. Dutton island, Hanna park, or my house and the neighborhood parks in Atlantic Beach.
3.It’s a Field Trip every day. Parents drop off and pick up their children at the designated place.
4. My house is licensed through DCF and is our inside place whenever severe weather prevents us from being outside.
The research behind an all outdoor early childhood education is compelling. Research aside, most parents will admit that their children are spending too much of their free time in front of a screen and less and less time outdoors. The rise of Forest Kindergartens is appealing to parents who want their child to experience the joys of playing outside, but often can’t fit it into their own busy schedules. They acknowledge that early childhood is fleeting, and exposure to nature is important. It develops environmental awareness through personal experience in a way that even the most sophisticated media and constructed playgrounds cannot begin to replicate.
Children learn through their bodies. It’s like their growing bodies are 1 big sense organ that responds to real life experiences through their senses of touch, smell, sight, sound and taste. You can imagine the sound of the wind through the trees, only if you have seen, heard, felt, smelled and yes, even tasted the wind. “The salty tang of a strong Northeaster wind. Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist best-known for this theory of multiple intelligences, believed that the conventional concept of intelligence was too narrow and restrictive and that measures of IQ often miss out on other "intelligences" that an individual may possess. Gardner has identified eight intelligences: Linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.
Go visit a playground and watch how several children play, and you will agree with him. You’ll hear some children narrating their activity like a sportscaster, children singing and making music by banging on things, while others measure the space by running around the perimeter, and then cutting across the play area and discovering new routes, others will be spinning twirling swinging hanging upside down, some children leading others by creating scenarios and assigning roles, some children off by themselves immersed in their own fantasy world, and others chasing and catching insects ,lizards , snails and turtles. Parents have always known that each of their children learn their own way. This is not news.
Research drives funding, which in turn drives educational trends. The necessity of outside play for healthy development is well researched, and in Florida , it is a requirement within the school day. Is 20 minutes adequate? Will 20 minutes provide enough time for each child to employ all their senses and modalities of learning? 1003.455 Physical education; assessment.—
Forest Kindergarten gives a child the freedom to learn in their own special way and provides opportunities to use and develop all their intelligences, naturally!
I hope Forest Kindergarten is here to stay!