by: St. David's Center
What + When:
Let’s get out and grow October 4-10, 2021!
From October 4-10, we encourage our St. David’s Center community to celebrate the great outdoors and your family’s place in it!
On each day, we’ll provide a theme, as well as some activity ideas. Then we encourage YOU to get outside and… create, plant, move, play, help, picnic, and explore.
Spending time outside is not only fun, it’s vital to our health and development. At St. David’s Center we focus on building relationships that nurture the development of every child and family. Being outside is one of the best ways to nurture people of all ages. Any amount of time outside is beneficial, but aiming for 30 minutes a day is a great way to get in the habit.
(See below for more information on what’s so great about the great outdoors.)
Also… As even more incentive to head outside, we’re offering a prize to three lucky Get Out and Grow participants! “How do I win?” you ask?
To enter the raffle to win a prize from Legacy Toys, start by participating in all seven activity themes (Create, Plant, etc.). You’ll find activity ideas for each theme listed below, but feel free to come up with your own. As you complete an activity, cross off the theme on the bingo card. When you’ve completed and crossed off all the themes, submit a picture of your card OR of you participating in an activity, along with your name and contact info (email address and/or phone number), in one of the following ways:
Email it to us at email@example.com.
Message or tag us via FB or Instagram at @stdavidscenter.
Mail it to us at Betsy Rogers, 3395 Plymouth Road, Minnetonka, MN 55305.
Drop it off at our Minneapolis or Minnetonka locations. (Drop boxes will be located outside.)
Names will be drawn on October 19, 2021.
Need some activity ideas?
Click here for a list of ideas to get you started on your outdoor adventures.
If you have any questions about Get Out and Grow, contact Betsy Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (952) 548-8647 .
*Thank you to our generous sponsors for supporting Get Out and Grow week!
More on Why:
by Early Childhood Education Supervisor Mike Huber
Being outdoors is important for families because it:
Being outdoors is important for children’s development because it:
Plus, the outdoors can “hold” more physical play:
Being outdoors increases Vitamin D levels and decreases levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Play in general leads to changes at the molecular (epigenetic), cellular (neuronal connectivity), and behavioral levels (e.g. (socioemotional and executive functioning skills), which promotes learning and prosocial behavior. Physical play, for example, causes the body to release brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that encourages neuron growth. Being curious, a common element in play, results in enhanced brain activity.
In addition to the biological reasons, research has shown that at the behavioral level, children who play outdoors more have better health outcomes. In addition, there is research that an increase in the amount of recess at school is associated with higher test scores.
Because the outdoors provide sight, sound, smell, and tactile experiences that are plentiful but not overwhelming, it promotes sensory integration. Try closing your eyes and identifying each sound you hear as an example of how rich the outdoors can be. Occasionally there may be loud sounds such as thunder that can be overwhelming, but in general the sensory experiences are manageable for most children.
Nature is dynamic, so children stay motivated. In the fall, there is a plethora of leaves to play with, but at the same time, each leaf is different. Unlike factory-made toys that are identical, children can always find leaves or sticks that are different from the ones they’ve already found. This novelty keeps children motivated to play for longer. At the same time, nature doesn’t get bored either. A child can play chase with the waves on a beach as long as they want. The ocean, unlike parents, never gets tired of the game.
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