Daily life with your preschoolers is important for establishing a routine, teaching essential skills, and developing a bond with them. As parents and teachers, we are so adamant about keeping young children in a predictable routine because we want them to feel comfortable and secure. This security keeps them ready to learn new things in the context of a familiar and homey environment.
So why is it that, as parents and teachers, we get so exciting about providing out of the box, exciting activities for our little ones? If routine is so important, then why do we have the urge to break it?
Th truth is that there is really only so much we can do inside the walls of a classroom. Sure, we can show them videos of the outside world, but there is no substitute for experiencing the wonders of nature in person. Technology is a wonderful tool, but we need to show our students the real deal, let them dig their toes into the sand, and use their senses to investigate the Earth.
If you live in the big city, you know that the opportunities for interacting with nature each day are scarce, and being surrounded by concrete structures is just the reality of every day life. Instead of resigning ourselves to this reality, we need to look for adventure elsewhere! We recommend straying from your typical routine at least once a month, so make plans to pack some sandwiches and have an awesome day!
A great place to start is your local park, where you can let your little one roam free and get dirty. While the park is an awesome resource, it is important to know that outside park play should be considered a daily thing, not an out of the box activity. Children need an excursion that shakes up their routine to spark excitement and draw out a passion for learning. So what is the next step?
There are so many opportunities for experiencing nature in the big city, you just need to know where to look for them. In Miami, we have great natural resources in Key Biscayne and Miami Beach, where you can watch and interact with ocean life and experience some wonderful fresh air. The beaches, Miami Seaquarium, and Jungle Island are all places that are unique to South Florida While you can’t get to the beach everyday, you can make the trip a few times a year, discovering new adventures along the way.
Don’t forget that there is more to our local environment than the beach! Trips to local farms, the Everglades, and the zoo can all be intertwined into your monthly adventure schedule. Remember that bringing up children is all about balance, and the proper balance should include special nature experiences.
By giving our children the opportunity to interact with nature, we are showing them that they are a small part of a big world, filled with more wonders than they can watch on a screen!