As winter ebbs, children welcome the chance to surround themselves with sweet flower buds, soft grass, and leafy trees. Nature calls them out to play, and by setting up a few specific activities to try in your yard or a park, your child will not only have fun but develop self-esteem, spatial awareness, and important cognitive skills.
Outdoor activities provide endless opportunities for preschoolers to feel good about themselves. How high can I climb? How fast can I run? How many jumping jacks can I do? Try setting up an obstacle course. (It’s a great playdate activity!) Invite your child to try the course both backward and forward. The more she accomplishes, the more capable she’ll feel.
Improve Spatial Awareness
Encourage imaginative play. When a 3- or 4-year-old stretches upward as if she were a tree, twirls around like a tornado, or flaps her arms like a bird, she’s learning about body awareness and spatial relationships. Threes enjoy perfecting these gross motor actions while also using their imaginations. Fours often invent rules for their movement games such as how high to “fly” or where to land for a “safe zone.” All of this helps to set the foundation for a lifetime of physical fitness.
Enhance Cognitive Skills
Take a nature walk and then have your child sort objects he finds by shape, size, or color. It exercises his math skills. Ask your child to roll a few different types of small toys down the slide and watch carefully. She’s seeing force, gravity, and speed in action! Draw a map together that leads to buried treasure to strengthen her geography skills.
Photo: Jason Edwards/Media Bakery