I am a big believer in teaching my son as much as possible. I know that when he goes to school he will be taught what the curriculum dictates he is required to learn, but I also feel it is my responsibility to teach him everything I know (well almost everything), as he grows. I was not a big fan of school, but I hope my son finds a love for it. I hope that his school years are full of great friends, kind teachers and interesting challenges.
So as he approaches the school years I have been looking at ways I can make learning interesting for him. Which has lead us to get outdoors and learn as the world is really such a fantastic place to explore that you’re missing a trick if you don’t use it to learn.
I am hoping my love of photography is passed on to M as I encourage him to look at the ways in which we can capture our environment. I encourage him to really look at the textures and colours around us and quite often we play i-spy to discuss what we see. I am always impressed by the words he chooses to express his world.
Photographs we capture can also be printed and used once we get home to further his learning. We can make them into puzzles, collages or post them to family or friends to learn how being kind to others makes the world a better place.
We are very big supporters of children learning risk and dealing with problem solving. When M first started to play on the older children’s play area he was a little nervous and felt he couldn’t climb certain ladders. But he has learned to assess his capabilities and has a great sense of pride when he masters a new high slide or a rickety rope bridge. All this learning occurs during play, every child experiences it, you just need to provide the best environment to play and explore in. I read a study recently that said too many children are missing out on playing outside and this worries me. I spent many years swinging on monkey bars, climbing rope bridges and jumping off high frames and I feel it taught me a lot about myself as well as keeping me fit as a child.
I will also choose getting outdoors and exploring over being stuck indoors because it is how I spent my childhood and I would love for M to enjoy a similar outdoor experience. I’ve already expressed interest in taking M on an outdoor forage adventure and can’t wait until he is old enough to go on one. I feel not only will it be a great learning experience for him, it will also be a fantastic way for our bond to strengthen.
Another great way to learn outdoors is by geocaching which teaches many skills including map reading, patience and an appreciation of the nature around us. We are lucky that our little man enjoys caching and is actually pretty good at locating caches.
Do you get outdoors to learn? We are always looking for new fun ways to enjoy being outdoors, so if you have any great suggestions please leave them in the comments section.