When children play outdoors and interact with the natural environment they are learning through their senses. Outdoor play can also promote the development of fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, as well as vocabulary expansion by labeling the sights and objects around them. Playing outdoors with limited material objects can also spark children’s imagination. Thinking specifically about how outdoor play stimulates a child’s senses we must first identify what are our eight senses.
There are five overt senses:
There are also three hidden senses:
So how can we engage these sensations outdoors? Here are a few ideas in different environments:
City/Side Walks/Public Parks
The opportunities for sensory play outdoors are endless so get out there and have fun!
Author: Christine Rychert OTD, OTR/L