Building Social and Emotional Skills in Nature
28 April 2022
There’s nothing like outdoor play in nature to build social and emotional skills. Every Friday our Kindergarten children have Expedition Day to the local woods for child-led, play in nature. As well as the freedom to explore, climb trees, build dens, and connect with the changing seasons, it also provides the most natural and collaborative social environment. Find out more below…
As the children develop their own ideas and play from the natural resources around them, group tasks and roles start to emerge. You can only build a den or reach the next branch through teamwork and cooperation.
Children learn to use their own initiative to solve problems through trial and error, and to co-operate and collaborate with others. Through sharing, turn-taking, negotiating and compromise, children find resolutions that benefit everyone. They learn how to make good social decisions for themselves, understand their own abilities and strengths, while seeing that everyone has something valuable to contribute.
Working together towards a common goal requires empathy and the ability to read other people’s emotions and understand your own. It helps children to adapt and be flexible, to encourage and console their friends when needed. All the while our teachers are gently observing and supporting play, fostering the confidence that if they fail there are no pressures, only the opportunities to try again.