Sunday, October 16, 2011

"Take It Outside" Week

The Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play has designated October 16 - 22 as Take It Outside Week to "encourage educators, families and caregivers to make time outdoors an important part of young children's daily lives."

They state:
  • Today's children spend less time outdoors than any generation in history.
  • American preschoolers watch 32 hours of television a week.
  • Current research indicates that children who regularly play outdoors are healthier, smarter and happier than children who do not.
Suggestions for a Take It Outside Event include:
  • Host a Play Day filled with lots of outdoor games and activities
  • Host a Gardening Day and plant fall flowers and shrubs and grasses to enhance your outdoor space
  • Host a Nature Play Day – go for a nature hike, build forts and dens and dig for worms
One activity I enjoy doing with is a "Sock Walk" Each child needs a big, fuzzy sock. (Old wool socks work well.) Have each child put the fuzzy sock over one of their shoes. Go for a walk. Try to walk through interesting areas with a lot of different types of weeds, etc. When you get back to the Center, look at the seeds, etc. that have gathered on the socks. Plant each sock in a pot. It's fun to watch the pots over the next couple of months to see what grows from the seeds, etc. that were collected on the socks.
Enjoy your Sock Walk and the "fruits" of your walk!

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