At Little Rascals we believe outdoor play is an essential part of a child’s development. We encourage children to play outside as often as possible and in all weathers, it’s certainly fun in the sun but great when we can splash in puddles! Not only does playing outside help children develop the sense of wonder, which is an important motivation for lifelong learning, it will also develop self-confidence and self-regulation. Children that play outside will have reduced anxiety and stress levels and the fresh air has been proven to improve moods.
Not only is playing outside great fun for children, it is healthy for them too! It has been recognised that children who play outside have an increase in Vitamin D levels, helping them to build strong bones. It will also support children to recognise their own bodies, to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and develop their co-ordination, as well as building their resilience.
Here, we understand that children need and want to take some risks when they play. We aim to respond to those needs and interests by offering the children a stimulating and challenging environment where they can explore and learn. To support this, we offer forest school type sessions called Nature Explorers sessions across all nurseries. We believe in the importance of adding to the rich tapestry of opportunities for children within nursery as the broader and more diverse their experiences, the wider their appetites become for learning.
Qualified practitioners use a certified programme preparing fun and challenging activities for the children, that challenges their risk-taking skills, and the other areas of their development. We have a dedicated space that is checked every morning, this is a short journey away, so the children are fully immersed in the space.
”Play is essential for children’s wellbeing and development. When planning and providing play opportunities, the goal is not to eliminate risk, but to weigh up the risks and benefits. No child will learn about risk if they are wrapped in cotton wool” – HSE