One of the best things about life in Singapore is the year-round sunshine – and for kids, this means the possibility of outdoor play, every day! But playing outside isn’t just about letting the kids let off steam in a wide, open space after being cooped up in a condo. Canadian International School understands the importance of outdoor learning and the benefits it provides. Outdoor play is an essential part of early childhood, and the best way for young learners to explore the world around them is by interacting and engaging with a variety of sights, sounds, smells and physical experiences. CIS is already renowned for its fabulous, state-of-the art facilities, so it’s no surprise that its new, purpose-built kindergarten space is much more than an outdoor playground…
The science of play
“Hands-on exploration in kindergarten solidifies concepts and understanding more concretely than rote learning,” says Andrea Strachan, Vice Principal of Canadian International School’s Kindergarten Program. By the age of 10, students who have been exposed to play-based learning in kindy are known to excel in creativity, intelligence, oral expression and work habits. Designed with kindergarten learning in mind, this new outdoor space further enhances the richness of CIS’ kindergarten program, and supports young minds in the ways they learn best.
An outdoor classroom
In the new outdoor space, little ones will be surrounded by leafy trees, lush gardens, moving water, natural tunnels, grassy hills, a sound garden and creative play spaces. And it gets even better: there are sand and water areas, plus a tricycle and running track, too!
All this is much more than a kid’s paradise: elements of the space will support early learning in science, mathematics and literacy. By playing with mud, water, sand and objects such as sticks and stones and rope, kids can engage their imagination and creative thinking skills while solving problems. Children will write and create shapes in the sand, and leave letters for their friends in secret places in the gardens. Here in this wonderful outdoor classroom, surrounded by nature, little ones will learn to calculate, measure, invent, estimate, analyse and test theories, developing their thinking, communication and research skills.
Back to nature
As so many of us in Singapore live in condos, our children don’t always get the chance to interact with plants, the earth and watching things grow. “Only by interacting with the natural world can children appreciate and learn to care for our environment,” says Vice Principal Andrea Strachan. With this in mind a luscious herb and vegetable garden has been planted for kids to grow edible produce for themselves and others. Tending to the garden, students will pick up early science skills and learn important lessons about nutrition, and a valuable respect for where their food comes from.
We couldn’t think of a more lovely place to learn…
To experience the outdoor discovery space, or to learn more about the Kindergarten program at Canadian International School, sign up for one of the dedicated Kindergarten Open Houses at www.cis.edu/open house.
This post is sponsored by Canadian International School.