#getkidsoutside

#getkidsoutside

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The #GetKidsOutside campaign addresses parents' concern for their children’s mental, emotional and physical state by encouraging regular outdoor play and exploration. An alarming statistic states that American children, on average, spend more time in front of a screen (seven or more hours) than in unstructured outdoor play (four to seven minutes) daily.
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Boston Outdoor Preschool Network

Society is becoming more aware of how critical baby and toddlerhood is to laying the foundation for lifelong cognitive and emotional abilities and the resilience needed to face our changing world. A child’s future success depends on their ability to socialize, manage stress and handle adversity, which experts say all can be learned and improved through playing outside.

We've produced a series of short films featuring the BOPN Co-Founder Shela Sinelien, students and staff, allowing more people to learn about the benefits of nature preschool programs.

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Unstructured outdoor time offers a myriad of benefits

COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
Children gain self-reliance, decision-making skills, and organizational abilities through unstructured outdoor play. In addition, they develop through individual and cooperative play by problem-solving, creating fictional worlds and turning their ideas into realities. These experiences teach kids to follow the rules and respect others.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Children who play outside are more likely to develop observational and reasoning skills. Spending time with their peers enables children to develop empathy, cooperation, and friendship, all of which could prove beneficial to them in the long run. By having enough space to breathe and move around, children who spend more time outdoors are more likely to grow up to be compassionate, informed adults.
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
Children who play outdoors develop more advanced motor skills including agility, balance, and coordination than those who spend most of their time indoors. Outdoor environments allow kids to walk, play, and swing as well as build muscle, bone, and physical endurance. The outdoor environment gives kids the space they need to walk, play, and swing.
COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
Children gain self-reliance, decision-making skills, and organizational abilities through unstructured outdoor play. In addition, they develop through individual and cooperative play by problem-solving, creating fictional worlds and turning their ideas into realities. These experiences teach kids to follow the rules and respect others.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Children who play outside are more likely to develop observational and reasoning skills. Spending time with their peers enables children to develop empathy, cooperation, and friendship, all of which could prove beneficial to them in the long run. By having enough space to breathe and move around, children who spend more time outdoors are more likely to grow up to be compassionate, informed adults.
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
Children who play outdoors develop more advanced motor skills including agility, balance, and coordination than those who spend most of their time indoors. Outdoor environments allow kids to walk, play, and swing as well as build muscle, bone, and physical endurance. The outdoor environment gives kids the space they need to walk, play, and swing.

Every purchase through November helps build the
Boston Outdoor Preschool Network Scholarship Fund.

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Happier, Healthier Kids

Green plants and vegetation reduce stress among highly stressed children. Locations with greater number of plants, greener views, and access to natural play areas show more significant results.

A study of 2- to 5-year-olds showed that children who play outdoors sleep better at night (Deziel 2017). This may be due to the physical activity, stress reduction, and exposure to natural light that come with playing outdoors (Coyle 2011).

Women-founded, expert and inclusive child development 

Sarah Besse and Shela Sinelien met in 2016 while in graduate school for Early Childhood Education at Boston University's Wheelock College. As educators in the public schools, they noticed that their preschool children felt most alive when engaging with the natural world and their local community. They began to dream about expanding opportunities for nature-based education. Around the same time, Sara Murray began taking her first grade students outside to learn and play. Happily, Sarah, Shela and Sara joined forces to open the first BOPN class at the Arnold Arboretum in September 2019.

BOPN arose out of a mutual desire to provide a joyfully muddy childhood fostering curiosity, movement, music, art, science, and connection with nature and each other.

After a successful first year outdoors at the Arboretum, the team opened a new program at Massachusetts Horticultural Society (Wellesley) in September 2020. BOPN most recently launched a preschool class at Pine Banks Park (Malden) in October 2022. ​

Their ultimate goal is to provide equitable access to nature-based early education. BOPN provides preschool tuition-free for underserved families through a variety of programs, including a new scholarship fund.
MORE ABOUT BOPN

Fulfilling the developmental needs of the whole child

Popular in European and Scandinavian countries, nature immersive schools are catching on in a big way in the U.S. A growing growing body of research shows that unstructured time outdoors may be the finest precondition for school. Those who spend time outdoors are believed to have better confidence, cognitive function, and academic achievement, as well as lower obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms. Even bullying decreases as a result.

In 2020, there were 585 nature preschools in North America, compared with fewer than 50 a decade earlier. There has been an explosion in interest, based on anecdotal evidence. BOPN, which started with a class of nine students in 2019, now educates more than 100 students at its Boston and Wellesley locations, where 15 teachers and about two dozen interns, fellows, and youth workers work. The founders have ambitious plans to expand even further.

“We’re part of a trend now,” BOPN Co-founder Shela Sinelien says. “It’s just a matter of time before we see people really understanding that we should take our kids outdoors. Even at public schools, children can spend time outdoors every week. BOPN and other organizations are shaping that for families.”

“To raise a nature-bonded child is to raise a rebel, a dreamer, an innovator… someone who will walk their own verdant, winding path.”
- Nicolette Sowder

Every purchase through November helps build the
Boston Outdoor Preschool Network Scholarship Fund.

2022-11-30T16:47:00+0000