• Let's play - summer fun!

    The importance of outdoor play
    The outdoors is a great place for preschool children to practice and master their gross motor skills. Children can move about freely - running, jumping and climbing. It’s the best place to practice hand-eye coordination like throwing, catching or hitting a ball, plus other manipulative skills like pushing a swing or pulling a wagon.
    Outdoor play contributes to learning

    The outdoors offers more than just physical benefits. Social, emotional and cognitive development are impacted; too. Outside, children are more likely to invent games. They express themselves and learn about the world in their own way as they explore.
    Learning to appreciate the outdoors
    Preschoolers learn so much through their senses. There is are a world of things for children to see (animals, birds and green, leafy plants); to hear (the wind in the trees or a bird singing); to smell (flowers in a garden or fresh cut grass); to touch (a fuzzy caterpillar or tree bark); and even to taste (the rain on their tongue)!

    Here are a few fun summertime activities from some of the Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) parent educators. We hope that you bring your family outside and enjoy some summer fun!

    • A nature walk. What do you see, hear, smell or what can you touch.
    • Set up an obstacle course to jump, wiggle, crawl and run through.
    • Bring a sheet outside – shake it, make waves with it or bounce foam balls on it.
    • Go on a bug hunt. Examine the differences in size, or shape.
    • Plant a container garden. Talk about the colors or the textures of the plants.
    • Try water painting – paint on a building or even the driveway.
    • Blow bubbles. How many can you pop?
    • Enjoy a picnic or snack in the yard or at a nearby park.
    • Have a backyard camp out. Count all the stars!
    Remember too, if you want to escape the heat, indoor playtime at Anoka-Hennepin Schools early childhood centers are always a fun summertime option. View the summer playtime schedule online.
  • Laughing girl with butterfly on nose