Adventure Mom: 3 Reasons To Consider Outdoor Based Preschools
What if our lives, right now, were immersed in nature as much as they are in technology? This question is one that plagues parents on a daily basis. Especially if you have limited help with your child or just need a break! Trust me, I get it. The iPad is my toddler's best friend at times. Try as I might, sometimes he prefers the iPad over splashing in the mud or playing with his trucks outside.
Balance is a word I treasure as a parent. Somedays we play outside all day, go hiking, travel to a new place, etc. Other days, we catch up on laundry, watch movies and have way too much screen time. It's all a part of the glorious balancing act of parenting. As my sweet, rambunctious boy turns the corner on three years old, I started to think more and more about what we are doing with our time and what I could do better to help him grow into a curious, adventure-loving child. That's when I started researching outdoor based preschools. Here is what I found!
Your Child Will Be Completely Immersed In Nature
No TV, no iPad, no technology period. When I started researching the different outdoor preschools in my area, I found (to my delight) that the teachers are explorers, adventurers and all around educated, nature-loving people. Many of the schools were situated on many acres of property where they take the children on nature walks, plant gardens and learn all about animals first hand. Instead of reading about animals in a book, the children can go outside to touch, play with and take care of the animals on the property! How cool is that? The best part is the teachers are actually prepared to teach the children skills needed in everyday life, as well as the basics of the ABC's and other similar subjects!
Your Child Will Learn Differently
As I mentioned previously, your child will be learning from experience instead of solely from a lecture or picture book. Of course, there will probably be some fun book learning as well, but outdoor preschools focus on experiential education and make it a priority. As you know, children are little fire balls, full of flaming energy that never seems to dissipate. Attending an outdoor preschool, where they are encouraged to learn through structured and unstructured play, will help them love learning! They will discover that learning is fun. After all, no child likes to be confined and forced to sit still; it makes learning a drag! Instead, they will learn purely through first-hand experience, from teachers educated in early childhood education.
Your Child Will (Most Likely) Love it!
I mean, what child doesn't love romping around outside, seeing exciting animals or learning about colors and numbers from plants and rocks and other earthly things? Look at it this way, you can cancel that zoo membership because your child's school is basically a living, breathing petting zoo with curriculum! Fun, right? Depending on the age of your child, the school will also do exciting field trips that encourage your child to learn about nature and Mother Earth as a whole.
Think outside the educational box and do some research about outdoor or nature-based learning in your area. You can make appointments to take a tour of the school and talk to the teachers to decide if it is the right option for you and your child. You may be surprised at the wealth of knowledge the Earth holds for us! If your child is excited about an outdoor-based preschool, run with it! Learning and education as a whole is way more fun when it's actually enjoyed!