A Letter to Parents on Outdoor Play

When we take the children outdoors at school, we talk about the things we can see, hear, touch, and feel so that the children become aware of changes in the weather and the seasons, the growth of plants, and animals. We help the children notice changes by asking them what is different about the trees, the caterpillars, or the sky. They lie on the ground and look up, or they climb the jungle gym and look down. We point out the many kinds of birds that fly overhead, butterflies, different types of insects, falling leaves, and rain as it begins. We wonder aloud where all these things come from.

 

By playing outdoors, your child can learn the following:
•    to notice changes in nature;
•    to discover what happens to people, animals, and plants when it is cold, hot, dark, or light, outside;
•    to use his or her body in increasingly skillful ways; and
•    to be a good observer.

 

When the children play outdoors, we encourage them to talk about what they are doing. For example, we might say:
•    "What happened to the sun just now? I don't see it anymore."
•    "What is making the trees bend the way they are today?"

 

We also ask questions that help children extend their thinking as they play outdoors. For examples, we might say:
•    "What happens to the water in the pan? It's hard now. What do we need to do to make it pour?"
•    "If you keep digging your hole, how far down can you go?"

 

What You Can Do at Home

 

You can provide wooden boxes for playhouses or an obstacle course; gardening tools to dig, plant, and cultivate a little garden; a big paintbrush and a pail of water to "paint" walls or fences; large balls to kick or throw; or old blankets or sheets to make a tent. You can take a walk around the block with your child and talk about all the different colors of cars that pass by. Your child will take great pleasure in collecting rocks, finding bugs, watching birds and airplanes in the sky, or pretending to go camping.


You can try some of these ideas with your children outdoors at home or on a trip to the park, the beach, the woods, or wherever you can find a place to run. Playing outdoors is fun for parents and children and enhances children's learning in many important ways.

 

For more information on The Creative Curriculum for Early Childhood, please contact, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Letters to Parents

A Letter to Parents on Outdoor Play

What We Do and Why


Outdoor play is an important part of our curriculum. When the children are outdoors, they like to run, jump, climb, and use all the large muscles in their bodies. They need space to work out and let off steam. They can race around, breath the fresh air, look at the clouds, or catch a ball or a bug. They not only satisfy their physical need for large muscle activity but also develop a sense of wonder about the miracles that take place in nature.

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A Letter to Parents on Computers

What We Do and Why


In our program we have a special activity where children "play" with computers. While this may sound like a strange way of describing what children do with computers, this is in fact what goes on. The children experiment, using programs that help them develop in many exciting ways. Here are some of the things that children learn when they use computers: 
 

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Letter to Parents on Cooking

What We Do and Why


Cooking is an important part of our curriculum. When they cook, children have an opportunity to learn about food, to be creative, and to prepare their own nutritional snacks. Lots of discoveries happen during cooking. When children see dough rise, they learn about science; when they measure flour, they learn about math. Following picture recipe cards, they learn skills that will prepare them for reading. And when we make and eat, lebkuchen (gingerbread), Chinese dumplings or potato latkes, the children learn to appreciate other peoples and cultures.

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A Letter to Parents on Music and Movement

What We Do and Why

 

We do a lot of singing and creative movement in our program. Singing and moving to music give the children a chance to move freely, practice new skills, and feel good about what their bodies can do. The children love our daily time for singing together, and it helps them develop the ability to cooperate in a group. Here are some of the things we do to encourage a love for music and movement: 
 

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Letter to Parents on the Library

What We Do and Why


The library area is an essential part of our program and of your child's life. It's where children gain the foundations for reading and writing. It's also a place where children can relax and enjoy the wonderful world of children's literature.
We encourage children to use the library on their own. We invite them to look at books, to listen to taped stories, and to scribble and "write" throughout the day. We also work with children one- on-one and in small groups. Sometimes children dictate stories to us, which we record in "books."
Every day we read stories to the children. We read books to introduce new ideas, to develop pre- reading skills, to help children deal with problems, and mostly to develop a love of books.

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A Letter to Parents on Sand and Water Play

What We Do and Why


Although you're probably used to your children splashing in the bathtub and digging in a sandbox at the playground, you may be surprised to know that the sand and water area is an important part of our classroom. This is because sand and water aren't just fun - they're also a natural setting for learning.

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A Letter to Parents on Art

What We Do and Why


Art is an important part of our curriculum. Every day, children find a variety of art materials available on our shelves. Drawing, painting, cutting, pasting, and playing with playdough are not only enjoyable but also provide important opportunities for learning. Children express original ideas and feelings, improve their coordination, develop small muscle skills, learn to recognize colors and textures, and develop creativity and pride in their accomplishments by exploring and using art materials.

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A Letter to Parents on Table Toys

What We Do and Why


Table toys include puzzles, various table blocks, and other small construction materials such as Legos, and collections of objects (including shells, bottle caps, and buttons). When children use table toys, they learn many new skills and concepts, including:

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A Letter to Parents on Dramatic Play (House Corner / Kitchen)

What We Do and Why


The Kitchen play area is a very important part of our classroom. The work children do in the house corner is called dramatic play or pretend play. In the house corner children take on a role and recreate real-life experiences. They use props and make-believe about a wide variety of topics.

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A Letter to Parents on Blocks

What We Do and Why


Blocks, the hard wood units that come in proportional sizes and shapes, are one of the most valuable learning materials in our classroom. When they build with blocks, children learn about sizes and shapes, spatial relationships, math concepts, and problem solving. When children lift, shove, stack, and move blocks, they learn about weight and size. Each time they use blocks, they are making decisions about how to build a structure or solve a construction problem.

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