Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested doctors start prescribing play for young children. “Play supports the formation of the safe, stable and nurturing relationships with all caregivers that children need to thrive,” the AAP report said.
Play in an outdoor, natural environment helps engage a young child’s senses and allows toddlers and preschoolers to exercise their bodies and minds. A nature trip doesn’t have to be a far–off place — it could be a visit to a neighborhood park or local splash pad. Just make sure you protect your little ones from the sun.
You might be interested in:
Here are a few activities to get you started:
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt – think of things you might see while outside then use the list to collect items as you walk.
- Show your child how to explore the forest floor or grassy lawn.
- Point out bugs.
- Talk about what you see, hear and smell.
- Observe patterns in a stream or rainbows made by splashing water.
- Have a meal outside.
Parents are also encouraged to allow their child some time for free play, where the child chooses what activities to do that will allow their imagination and creativity to take over.
For more ways on how parents can support their little one’s development and learning through play watch FTF’s short video: