The U.S. recess predicament: Extraordinary photos of what we can learn from play in other parts of the world

Article Credit, the Washington Post:
The U.S. recess predicament: Extraordinary photos of what we can learn from play in other parts of the world

A look at different playgrounds and outdoor environment conditions for schools around the world. Definitely a reality check, in comparison to the beautiful, natural play area we provide for our young friends.

Probably the most “Montessori” of them all, the author describing one of the schools photographed in Norway:

“Children were expected to go out and play no matter what the weather. The playgrounds had trees — which the children were free to climb as high as they wanted — and rocks and sticks to build camps. Children were taught to resolve disputes amongst themselves and there was very little monitoring by teachers.”

Outdoor Play is Key to Child Development

Outdoor Play

Playing outdoors is crucial in the physical and mental development of children. In its simplest form, playing outside is a good way for children to get their daily exercise. With one out of three children overweight or obese, being active is critically important for the health of children. Lack of outdoor play has been linked to such problems as childhood obesity, increased reliance on behavior regulating medications, low self-esteem, and lower academic performance. Improving a child’s health and well-being might be as simple as sending him or her outside to play!
Outdoor play and exploration can promote learning across all developmental domains and help ensure overall health, fitness, respect for the environment, positive social relationships, and readiness in academic subjects including science, math, language arts, and more! According to the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play, playing outside improves children’s gross motor skills, which increases their ability to process and remember new information. Furthermore, interacting with nature and other kids outside helps to stimulate the curiosity and creativity of children, and also boosts their confidence as they learn new things. 
A generation ago, playing outdoors in nature was a given. Times have changed. TV and computer use, unsafe neighborhoods, busy and tired parents, and elimination of school recess are just a few reasons children are spending less time outdoors. Many modern American children are likely to find themselves in the “highly scheduled” category, where life is a constant shuffle between school, sports, church, camps, lessons, or various other activities. This daily shuffle can be overwhelming and more often than not, playing outside is the last thing they want to do. So, what can you do to increase outdoor play for children in your care?
Try some of these tips to increase outdoor play:

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