Young children learn best by being very active physically. This is especially true of boys, who can sometimes find it almost painful to sit down for a long time – they need to move.
Going outdoors is a great solution for young children who need to be on the move - it gives them plenty of opportunities to learn while their bodies are active and busy.
There are plenty of things you can do to make being outside fun and exciting – it can be as simple as picking up leaves or splashing in puddles on your way to the bus stop, rooting around in the earth looking for creepy crawlies or simply enjoying the fresh air and freedom to left off steam on an open stretch of grass.
How CBeebies can help
If your child is a bit of a couch potato, then there are lots of CBeebies shows that will encourage them to explore and enjoy the world around them.
In Come Outside, Auntie Mabel & Pippin the dog explore the outside world in their aeroplane and land at various places to find out more. And in Big City Park – which is set in a beautiful city park in Northern Ireland - children get to go out and about and explore nature’s hidden treasures in all weathers.
Another great show for encouraging your child to explore the natural world is Green Balloon Club. The team fly through the skies spotting young members who then give reports on what they've seen where they live. There are charts and spot cards for your child to print out and take with them when they go looking for wildlife.
And not forgetting Mighty-Mites, which is a lively and energetic series that encourages children to get up and have a go at a range of exciting activities, such as go-karting, kite-flying and indoor rock climbing.
How to make a magic moment
Although special trips to the park, woods or farm are full of magic moments you can also make the most of everyday activities. There is so much to talk about when going to the shops with children, catching the bus, or even posting a letter – e.g. you can talk about which bus to catch, how to get there, what to buy, and what you see along the way.
Because children learn quickly when information is full of meaning for them, it’s good to just talk about what you are doing as these everyday events are packed with good memories and knowledge.
And why not try to spot some flowers and mini beasts along the way (if it’s summer time you could look out for ladybirds and butterflies). Or you could pick up some interesting leaves, twigs or stones to take home with you.
By Dawn Kelly