Exploring Winter Through Play

The boys have been spending time outside almost every day learning about winter first-hand.

Summer received a shiny new sled for the holiday from Papa, and could scarcely wait to get home to try it out.

I like watching them from my front room picture-window; they can practically sled right out the back door and down the slope of our backyard.  Kids are funny in their antics and never fail to make me smile or laugh.

Just by playing in the snow they’re learning about the nature of winter.  They’re learning about how cold snow is, what it feels like–what it tastes like.

They’re learning the science of sledding–sure, there’s a science to sledding.  By trial and experimentation they learn which parts of the hill produce the best ride; they learn about the different kinds of snow and which kind is best for sledding.  They learn that you have to pull the rope into the sled with you or you don’t get very far very fast.

When the east-coast received a walloping blizzard right after Christmas they learned that wind is the key factor that makes a winter-storm a blizzard (the National Weather Service defines a blizzard as large amounts of falling OR blowing snow with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 of a mile for an extended period of time-more than 3 hours).

Through play children learn about themselves, their environment, and about the people and the world around them.  They learn to solve problems.  Free play like this enhances creativity.

Kids develop healthy personalities through play; positive play experiences help children develop positive emotional well-being, something which is especially crucial for children like Winter, who have autistic characteristics, and struggle day-in and day-out with the world around them, and may need these positive play experiences to lift their self-esteem.

Most homeschoolers are well aware of the benefits of play; however, if by chance you are not familiar with the concept, here are a few choice resources I’ve located for you.

Resources

Learning Through Play – a Child’s Job

Building Unstructured Play into the Structure of Each Day

The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds

Share your thoughts, comments or questions!