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Outdoor Play: Why It’s Important and How PLASP Makes it a Priority

There simply is no substitute for time spent outdoors.

With so many options available to keep children busy indoors, outdoor play on a whole is being woefully under prioritized.

Child Psychiatrist Dr. Jean Clinton, Keynote speaker at the PLASP Annual Parent and Community Meeting discussed what she describes as a “nature deficit” whereby children are spending less time outdoors while distractions, such as mobile devices, are monopolizing their time.

“Do you wanna build a snowman?”

There are benefits of outdoor play that technology simply can’t replicate such as; a healthy amount of sunshine (which helps with the production of vitamin D), exercise, and an appreciation for nature.

PLASP PA Day fun at Black Creek Pioneer Village.

PLASP Child Care Services is looking to bridge the gap. Children who attend the PLASP before and after school program spend at least 30 minutes outside and children in our full day Early Learning and Child Care Centres are playing outdoors for two hours a day (taking into consideration extreme weather circumstances and altering this time accordingly).

“Outdoor play is a very important part of the daily programming we offer. We believe it’s critical to children’s wellbeing and development” says Diane Phu, PLASP Curriculum Manager. “We not only incorporate outdoor play into our daily programming, but into our enrichment and PA Day activities as well”.

“On your marks, get set, go!”

Looking for ways to include more outdoor play into your family’s schedule? Here are some suggestions:

  • Try walking or cycling to/from school or your child care centre.
  • Visit a local park.
  • During the winter months take children outdoors to play in the snow, go ice skating on an outdoor rink, or try tobogganing.
  • Visit a local attraction that has an outdoor component (conservation area, pioneer village, outdoor holiday market, etc.)

 

PLASP Child Care Services
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