It goes without saying that a great outdoor play is one of the key elements of early childhood education. Spending a lot of time outside in the fresh air is extremely important for children’s health. For this reason, not only should government approved kindergarten programs
have adequate backyards for play, but as a parent, you should try to make your outdoor space a perfect place for children to explore.
Luckily, Eskay Kids – Natural Childcare is here to help with your backyard planning project. Here’s a list of outdoor play space essentials (like those featured in the best child care centres):
1. The Mud Kitchen
Who doesn’t like playing in a kitchen? In general, every kid enjoys playing with ordinary kitchen tools. The same applies when playing at a kindergarten or a day care centre. So, why not include a mud kitchen in your backyard? If you want to make it cheap and simple, you will need only a couple of bricks, a plank of wood, some bowls, and, of course, old kitchen supplies and tools.
Alternatively, if you prefer having a bigger mud kitchen, you can find an old sink and install it onto the wood plank. Your little one will certainly enjoy mixing up different kinds of herbs, flowers, and dirt.
2. The Messy Place
Ask any early childhood education centre about the importance of sensory play; they will tell you for sure that it is a must and should be incorporated in every kindergarten care centre. Therefore, your backyard should have a place for sensory play, which most definitely means that things are going to get messy.
For example, set up some old buckets, bins, or containers so the children can fill them with water, grass, or mud. Throw around a couple of balls in different sizes and colours, hula hoops, jump ropes, butterfly nets – whatever comes to mind – and your messy place is ready. In addition, you can add some motor toys if your budget allows you.
3. The Imaginative Play Space
Finally, imaginative play is as important as sensory play so try to create a space in your backyard where your child can use their imagination. The mud kitchen serves this purpose well as children use their imagination when selecting ‘products’ for their culinary experiments. If you have any space left, you could build a little cubby-house (like the one you see in every kindergarten and day care centre), or even buy one. A bonus idea is to make a fort with blankets and place pillows inside. Whichever you choose, the imaginative play space will be the one where your child can escape and dream.
Government-approved kindergarten programs emphasize the importance of outdoor play. Your children can enjoy playing at Eskay Kids – Natural Childcare. But if you are willing, you can easily transform your backyard in many ways to support and facilitate kid play.