There is no better place for frequent nature play than in your own yard, even if it’s a small one. It is handy, familiar, needs no transportation, and is easy for you to supervise. Home yards provide especially good nature play for young children.
Their interests will tend to focus on tiny, concrete discoveries rather than the “big picture”. So while you notice the sunset, your young child will be looking at the “rollie-pollie” bugs, a sweet smelling flower, or a mysterious hole in the flowerbed.
There are some simple and inexpensive changes to your yard that you can make. But be aware that it is best if you are okay with a yard that looks a bit “messy”!
This month: Digging!
What you need:
- Set aside an area in yard to dig
- Provide small shovels, spades, buckets, etc.
Set aside an area in yard with large, loose mounds of dirt. You may need to mix in a few bags of sand. Provide small shovels, spades and buckets and let the children “dig in”. They can also add toy dump trucks, etc. for pretend play.
- Gross motor skills
- Problem solving skills
- Provides “child centered” play
- Pretend play
Source: A Parent’s Guide to Nature Play, Green Hearts INC