Playing outside is not just about letting off steam. It is a vital part of childhood that helps children develop physical strength, coordination and balance. It can also provide opportunities for children to learn and develop:
Social Skills â€“ when they play with other children they learn to communicate, share, collaborate and empathise with others.
Imagination and creativity â€“ outside play is often open-ended and children need to be creative about what and how games are played.
Thinking and problem solving skills â€“ as children assess risks and tackle new challenges they learn about having a go, persistence and perseverance and the success those attributes can bring.
Sense of self â€“ as they master new skills and play with other children they improve their competence and confidence in their own physical and social abilities.
Sense of connection â€“ to place, to peers and to their local community and environment.
Self care skills â€“ managing physical and social challenges helps children to learn about keeping themselves safe.
To support these broad learning outcomes, play spaces should include areas for active, free, quiet, social, imaginative, creative, exploratory and natural play. By inviting children to use their own initiative, explore possibilities and take chances we can provide them with opportunities to learn. Remember your own childhood â€“ where was your favourite place to play?
â€¢ MUSIC ADVENTURES
Did you know that 90% of a childâ€™s brain is developed by the time they are 5 years old? That is why we believe music is so important in the lives of young children! Music sparks excitement and adventure in children, creating an optimal environment for learning, and promoting success in their musical experiences.
The Preschool Music and Movement Adventures program is taught at preschools & childcare centers in Forsyth, Iredell, Davie, Davidson Counties and surrounding areas.
â€¢ Classes Include:
â€¢ Instrument Playing
â€¢ Singing Games
â€¢ Rhythm Patterns
â€¢ Tonal Patterns
â€¢ Instrument Recognition by Sight & Sound
â€¢ Movement Games
â€¢ Musical Concepts
â€¢ ART ADVENTURES
â€¢ In recent years, school curricula in the United States have shifted heavily toward common core subjects of reading and math, but what about the arts? Although some may regard art education as a luxury, simple creative activities are some of the building blocks of child development. Learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics may be more important than ever to the development of the next generation of children as they grow up.
â€¢ Motor Skills: Many of the motions involved in making art, such as holding a paintbrush or scribbling with a crayon, are essential to the growth of fine motor skills in young children. According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors. Many preschool programs emphasize the use of scissors because it develops the dexterity children will need for writing.
â€¢ Language Development: For very young children, making artâ€”or just talking about itâ€”provides opportunities to learn words for colors, shapes and actions. When toddlers are as young as a year old, parents can do simple activities such as crumpling up paper and calling it a â€œball.â€ By elementary school, students can use descriptive words to discuss their own creations or to talk about what feelings are elicited when they see different styles of artwork.
â€¢ Decision Making: According to a report by Americans for the Arts, art education strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. The experience of making decisions and choices in the course of creating art carries over into other parts of life. â€œIf they are exploring and thinking and experimenting and trying new ideas, then creativity has a chance to blossom,â€ says MaryAnn Kohl, an arts educator and author of numerous books about childrenâ€™s art education.