Let’s Take it Outside
Let’s Take it Outside (LTIO) is a one-day training that provides an overview of safe, healthy, and developmentally appropriate outdoor play and learning space. Participants are also given tools to create and use these spaces effectively.
There is growing interest in natural outdoor play spaces for children. Some of it was started by Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, published in 2005. He coined the term “nature deficit disorder” – a phrase that resonated with parents and educators across the country.
- Physically strenuous play contributes to healthy brain development, enhances learning, and improves memory.
- Play in nature-based play areas encourages more fantasy play and more egalitarian play among children of different ages and genders.
- Some research indicates that on playgrounds dominated by play structures, children establish a social hierarchy based on physical competence – which is difficult for children who are shy, delayed in physical development, or just cautious.
- Children who play freely in natural spaces have better motor coordination and better concentration.
- In terms of hour-by-hour physical activity, the exercise that children get in unstructured play outdoors is more varied and less time-bound than in organized sports.
- The Center for Disease Control refers to unstructured outdoor play as the “magic bullet” for addressing childhood obesity.
Training Content Includes:
- Overview of free play and active learning, health benefits, and nationally-recognized standards for playground structures and natural play
- Ways to use natural play spaces for active, creative play and learning
- Understanding of key design elements
- Practical information on the design process, costs, and fundraising
The training touches on the following EEC Core Competency Areas:
- Health, Safety, and Nutrition
- Learning Environments & Implementing Curriculum
- Program Planning and Development