Primary Inquiry Assignment
Updated: 7/16/2020
Primary Inquiry Assignment
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  • What are the benefits of outdoor, unstructured play for primary students?
  • Source:Sobchuk,K., Connolly, S., & Sheehan, D. (2019). Exploring the Literature on theBenefits of Nature and Outdoor Play and the Role of Play Leaders. Runner,36.
  • But first, what exactly is outdoor unstructured play?
  • Play in natural environments Spontaneous play outdoors in natural environmentsSometimes in challenging environmentsPlay with "natural-based loose parts"More complex movements, more physical activityFree play Variety of playscapes (E.g. hills, rocks, or trees)Children have sense of ownership of play space and its constructionNo adult control
  • Source: Kemple, K M, J Oh, E Kenney and T Smith-Bonahue. 2016.“The Power of Outdoor Play and Play in Natural Environments.” ChildhoodEducation 92, no 6: 446–54.
  • 3. Communication and Social Development
  • 1. Health & Physical Development
  • 5. Play Skills
  • Benefits:
  • 2. Self-Regulation and Attention
  • 4. Cognitive Development
  • Source: Kemple, K M, J Oh, E Kenney and T Smith-Bonahue. 2016.“The Power of Outdoor Play and Play in Natural Environments.” ChildhoodEducation 92, no 6: 446–54. Fjortoft,I. (2001). The natural environment as a playground for children: The impact ofoutdoor play activities in pre-primary school children. Early ChildhoodEducation Journal, 29(2), 111-117.
  • 1. Health & Physical DevelopmentOutdoor play linked to brain development and language acquisitionReduced stress seen in children (in part due to fresh air, and natural sunlight)Establishment of “Fundamental Movement Skills”Insights into physical movements and behavioursMore physically active outdoors (leads to lower obesity rates)Development and refinement of fine motor skillsBetter lung function, muscle movements, and joint health Click To Edit1. Health & Physical Development Help Insert ParagraphUndoes the last commandRedoes the last commandTabUntabSet a bold styleSet a italic styleSet a underline styleSet a strikethrough styleClean a styleSet left alignSet center alignSet right alignSet full alignToggle unordered listToggle ordered listOutdent on current paragraphIndent on current paragraphChange current block's format as a paragraph(P tag)Change current block's format as H1Change current block's format as H2Change current block's format as H3Change current block's format as H4Change current block's format as H5Change current block's format as H6Insert horizontal rulelinkDialog.show Summernote 0.8.11 · Project · Issues
  • 2. Self-Regulation & AttentionIncreases attention of students with ADHD More aware of natural elements and environmental issues Improves self-control and self-regulation skills After time outdoors, students research has showed that students are less reactionary
  • Source: Kemple, K M, J Oh, E Kenney and T Smith-Bonahue. 2016.“The Power of Outdoor Play and Play in Natural Environments.” ChildhoodEducation 92, no 6: 446–54. Fjortoft,I. (2001). The natural environment as a playground for children: The impact of outdoor play activities in pre-primary school children. Early ChildhoodEducation Journal, 29(2), 111-117.
  • 3. Communication and Social DevelopmentGreater freedom to express themselves when outdoors Children use more complex language outdoors, and better communication with peersSocial behaviour changes - less aggression when playing in natural environments Outdoor play forces children to face challenges, which in turn helps them build confidence and reach their full potential
  • 4. Cognitive DevelopmentPlay linked to greater brain developmentOutdoor play leads to more exploration, which in turn leads to children trying to make sense of their different observations (and new learning)Outdoor play leads to more abstract thought Children experience perceiving, encountering, and managing risk in a controlled environment Able to safely deal with risk encounteredNature = catalyst for students to ask about math and science
  • Source: Kemple, K M, J Oh, E Kenney and T Smith-Bonahue. 2016.“The Power of Outdoor Play and Play in Natural Environments.” ChildhoodEducation 92, no 6: 446–54. Fjortoft,I. (2001). The natural environment as a playground for children: The impact of outdoor play activities in pre-primary school children. Early ChildhoodEducation Journal, 29(2), 111-117.
  • 5. Play SkillsDevelopment of higher play skills and play types More opportunities for imagination and engagement Make use of a variety of materials Increased creativity
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