This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.
Playing outdoors can have huge benefits for little ones. It can be very easy for children to get sucked into technology and sit staring at a screen for hours on end. Lucas can work his way round our phones, the TV and our iPads and he is only 2. Technology can be an amazing resource and help with learning, play and development as well as just keeping children occupied whilst we tidy, cook or check our emails. However, I want there to be a balance. I want him to play, use his imagination and get some fresh air.
I am going to make sure that whatever the weather, we get outside at least once a day. As long as we are dressed appropriately I don’t think it matters if it is raining, sunny or snowing. There is something very refreshing about putting on waterproofs and wellies and going for a walk in the rain, taking a flask and some treats.
“Play involves children developing skills in using their bodies, promoting strength, co-ordination and agility,” explains a spokesperson for the Pre-School Learning Alliance. “Through play children form relationships, learn how to make friends, be sociable, share and take turn. In this way they develop an understanding of others and learn to feel empathy, responding appropriately to the needs and feelings of others.
“Play involves communication: they learn how to talk, express themselves and listen to others. They are discovering how things work, finding out about different objects or living things, naming and categorising them, as they build knowledge about the material and natural world.
“Most of all, they are using imagination to create possibilities and alternatives, to express their own individuality and represent their thoughts, ideas and knowledge through making up stories, songs or dances,” they conclude.
As much fun as playing can be, we know they are going to tumble, get cuts and scrapes or bruises. When this happens, I encourage Lucas to rub himself down then he comes over for a cuddle and kiss better. Elastoplast have a fab range of plasters with fun characters on when a cut needs covering. I find an ice cream always helps too!x