On June 5th of 2019, the US Senate officially designated June as ’Great Outdoors Month'. We don’t know how much “nostalgia” they were feeling at the time but we know they valued the same things we do. As Nicolette Sowder said, while “Playing together in nature … children get to celebrate and be themselves, while we are reminded of our inner child – the essence of who we are.”

Whether we playing a game of toss or red light/green light, competing in sack races, or bowling, outdoor activities lead to creativity.  These are opportunities to build family bonds and relationships which open lines of communication across generations that help everyone know each other better.

The benefits of outdoor play include:

  1. Children learn science through natural exploration as they discover novel things like leaves, nuts and living creatures. Turn their questions into group inquiry projects and you have the beginnings of a science curriculum.
  2. One-on-one interactions between family members build the foundations of teacher/student relationships that transfer to the school room. Learning becomes fun as a child’s natural interests are the basis of the conversations with their parents.
  3. Even the mild exercise of walking promotes physical health. When children run, jump, climb and run they are building gross motor skills as well as developing habits of being active.
  4. Outdoor play provides novel environments, either natural ones or the kinds you create, in which children can make a mess. They can read about trees and then climb some. Add water to dirt and build structures from mud and discover how quickly they dry and compare the sturdiness of various natural substances like dirt vs. clay.
  5. Children who have played outdoors sleep better. This has been attributed to the physical fatigue, the stress reduction or exposure to natural light. Regardless of the exact reasons, most of us have experienced the tired, happy child drifting off easily to a good night’s rest!

This is the beginning of a month that celebrates the very same things that we do. So check out our blogs, our catalog, some of the items below and …

Remember the Great Outdoors!


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