You can help parents understand the concepts children are learning during outdoor play, and help them build on that learning at home. Here's how:
- Add "Outdoor-Time Happenings" to your school newsletter. Let parents know about the new discoveries children are making and the challenges they are meeting.
- Just as it is helpful to post charts on indoor learning centers, indicating what learning occurs there, you can post a map of the outdoors on a classroom wall. This map can highlight for parents the learning that is happening there. Photographs of children using the spaces can amplify the information.
- Communicate what is happening in school science and math on the parent bulletin board. Photographs and children's art and stories are effective ways of telling what is happening. Suggestions for activities parents can enjoy with their children at home can be included by the display as a handout.
- Solicit parent contributions to science and math study. For instance, ask parents to help prepare gardens and gather items for collections, such as shells, stones, and seeds.
- For many parents, sharing science and math discoveries with their young children can be deeply satisfying. For some, the experiences revisit their own childhoods. For others, the world's beauties and patterns are seen for the first time. By encouraging parents to share in the wonder of the natural world with their children, you can make a great contribution to children's science and math learning.