3 Lessons from Outdoor Winter Play
“My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky.” William Wordsworth
Who wouldn’t want to crawl indoors and wait until spring when they witness and feel the temperatures dropping, days getting shorter and sky becoming dreary? At the same time, who wouldn’t want that invigorating feeling after playing hard outdoors on a cold and snowy day? Do you have memories of being rewarded with a nice warm hot chocolate after playing outside in the cold? The time is now to get kids outdoors and see how winter can play a significant role in curriculum development. What can we learn from observing the season of winter and imitating the natural world around us?
1. Nature is our Finest Teacher. As teachers, parents and leaders we need to become students of Nature and winter. Instead of closing the door on this fabulous season; open the door, observe and listen to the wonders of winter. Find ways to interact with Mother Nature during winter: see it, feel it, taste it, hear it and touch it. Observe the children’s interests and follow their lead for your curriculum content. You may find yourself planning entire units about snow, animal hibernation, and/or weather patterns.
2. Winter is Curious. There are no two days that are the same in winter, so you never really know what you are going to get. (especially in New England) Therefore, embrace the wonder of winter, listen, and let it lead you. Follow the children’s curiosity and see where it takes you. Give yourself permission to wonder and not have all the answers. Go on this journey with your children. Curiosity is a gift. Keep asking questions, as they invite ideas. A question like, “What do clouds look like during the winter?” might lead to poetry, a scientific study or an art project.
“I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills.” William Wordsworth
3. Imitate Nature. Exploring Nature in Winter inspires, motivates and enlightens. Can we look close enough into the natural world and observe, learn and imitate? Bundle up, open the door and see what is out there this Winter. What is Nature doing that we can imitate? What can we learn from animals? What are they doing to keep warm in winter? How can we be like animals with our winter coats?
Get Outdoors this Winter and discover how Nature can fuel your Curriculum! Want to learn more? Check out the Exploring Nature in Winter MASTER CLASS and join a fabulous group of Natural Teachers! Learn more.
What lessons have you learned from Outdoor Winter Play? Leave a comment below!