Top 10 reasons to send your children outside
1. It’s a sunny day. Children need free time to play outside, and to feel the breeze and the hot sun. A little recess helps clear the mind for better study.
2. It’s a rainy day. My children loved to play in the rain. They splashed in puddles, ran in the rain and enjoyed the raindrops on their skin.
3. It’s a “any type” of weather day. Every day has weather, hot and sticky, cool and rainy, cold and snowy, and when dressed appropriately each of those days can be enjoyed outside. That is a good lesson in preparing for each type of weather and for understanding the changes in weather.
4. It’s a grumpy day. Nothing cures a grumpy kid like a 10-15 minute romp in the woods or backyard. Physical movement is a great way to release negative and angry energy.
5. It’s a negative day. Maybe your child is having one of those “I feel dumb” days. It might be time to declare a “park day,” pack a picnic lunch and just climb a tree and play on the swing set for the afternoon. Those multiplication tables will still be there.
6. Science Day. The best way to learn science is hands on. Making a volcano on the back porch, or shooting off film canister rockets give great chemistry and physics lessons. Walk the woods with a tree guide, collect leaves, observe insects, clouds and weather patterns. Build a sundial, and mark the shadows throughout the day and compare to your watch.
7. Art Day. We loved hiking with our sketchpads, looking for inspiration. Chalk art is always fun, and with a rain storm or watering can the created art takes on an impressionist feel. Painting is always better outside. Nature photography is also a form of art, and your student can share her photos on the computer later.
8. Geography Day. Make a map of your neighborhood or of the local park. Study water erosion or build that volcano I mentioned before.
9. Earth day. Spend this day picking up trash or planting something. And that leads to….
10. Dinner. This is my favorite, because I love picnics in the park, cooking hot dogs over a fire, grilling hamburgers, and especially, gardening. The lessons learned from keeping a garden are so many that maybe I could make a top ten list for gardening.