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Creating A Fun and Educational Outdoor Experience for Young Children

Children's strong drives to play and explore always serve the function of education, not only in preparing them for the social world but also in their active participation in constructing their understanding. While classrooms are essential for formal learning, there is no better substitute for the outdoors for children's playful exploration and discovery. Children should have a balance between coercive classroom schooling and maximizing their outdoor playtime to fully develop their creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and social interactions.

Sensory issues consideration

There is one child with sensory issues in every group of 36 kids, according to the CDC. Educators must recognize this static when creating an outdoor experience for young children. When sensory input is not integrated appropriately into the child's brain, they experience the world differently. For example, a child with sensory processing issues may be overwhelmed by noise and light intensity. Understanding sensory issues among your students can help you create a more enjoyable outdoor experience for all children.


When educating young kids, your goal is to help the children develop the foundation for basic motor skills. In other words, through various carefully selected games and while addressing the hierarchical needs of their sensory systems, we help them develop the skills they need. The importance of such activities is that the children will ultimately be able to transfer them to elementary and secondary school activities, achieving a new level of learning. Most games that build motor skills will also involve coordination so that the children can play with each other and interact in a fun way. Safe outdoor activities include running, jumping, catching, and throwing games.

Anxious kids

Some children are calm in their world but anxious in the rest of the world. The child may yell or run away; the best activities keep them active but in a controlled and comfortable setting. These could include nature walks or even scavenger hunts. By keeping their minds and bodies busy, children are less likely to feel anxious and more likely to enjoy the outdoor experience.


The weather can be unpredictable and may affect the nature of the outdoor experience. Prepare in advance by reviewing the weather forecast and rescheduling the activities depending on the weather. If it is too hot, consider water play activities; if it's too cold, have a backup plan for indoor activities. Large gross motor indoor activities can be fun and exciting for the children.


To feel free to explore, children must feel safe and free from harassment and bullying. If you notice one child picking on another, immediately address the issue and remind everyone to be kind. Encourage positive communication and teamwork among children by assigning them group coordination games and activities. These tips teach children to work together and foster a sense of inclusivity and belonging in the group.


Staempfli, M. (2009). Reintroducing Adventure Into Children's Outdoor Play Environments. Environment and Behavior, 41, 268 - 280.


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