It’s autumn in North Carolina – the time of year when our beautiful state seemingly dares us not to sip coffee outside on crisp, cool mornings or take a leisurely stroll in the golden warmth of a more gentle afternoon sun.
Getting outside is something we at the Partnership promote strongly for the children, families, and early educators we serve. Going outside is a refreshing pause in the day’s schedule – time set aside to look and listen, explore and observe, move and let loose. We know, and research affirms, that time spent outside can lead to better physical and mental health, improved sleep, and cognitive, social, and emotional gains for young children.
One of the many benefits outdoor play readily brings about is how it effectively anchors our children to the real world. Talking with a child about an illustration of a stone in a picture book, for example, is good; but sharing the book and the experience in the real world is even better: “I wonder what the grass looks like under this rock? Oh, look! There are bugs living under there!” Children develop more comprehensive knowledge about their world when they have a chance to watch, observe, predict, and learn in the moment.
There’s plenty of splendor to behold in Randolph County this time of year. Enjoy the many opportunities for active learning in the great outdoors this fall.