It is a fact that, during the first three years of life, brain synapses form at a rapid rate. These synapses are formed based on the richness of the child’s sensory environment. In addition, the knowledge they gain outdoors provides a foundation to Literacy, Mathematics, creativity and scientific inquiry.
Outdoor experiential learning also promotes early language development. Having a rich sensory experience gives young children something to talk about. When an infant feels the leaves or the toddler notices the airplane in the sky, they are more inclined to verbalize this experience because it will elicit a favorable response by their caregivers. This verbalization to others also promotes social development.
Finally, outdoor experiences are critical for infant and toddler physical development. During this time the brain gathers and stores information, and a solid foundation for movement activities is built. Infants need interesting things to look at from a horizontal and vertical position. They need materials and space to practise walking, running and climbing.
by Karen Garratt