Autumn is here!

With the nights closing in earlier, the wind blowing harder and the rain falling heavier, parents begin to despair about what to do after school.

Many think the free entertainment provided by the great outdoors is over the minute school starts. But think twice… Wind, rain and mud can be great fun too! Once the clothes issue is dealt with (by means of wellies, layers and wateproof clothing), your child is ready to discover a wonderful world in every park and hill.

Windy days are brilliant for kite-flying. And what better place than Primrose Hill or Greenwich Park for a breathtaking view. Or, if you are in Sussex, why not visit Ditchling Beacon http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1179438 or the amazing Devil’s Dyke http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-devilsdyke

Rainy days are perfect for splashing in puddles and getting familiar with different aspects of nature. The look of delight in a child’s face when the ‘penny drops’ in a wonderful moment of experiential learning or ‘science in action’ is absolutely priceless!

Contact with the elements is an essential part of growing up. There is so much to learn from the passing of the seasons, and the best way to experiment is by being outdoors.

Last week we read this article with interest:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/healthy-living/the-filth-element-why-wersquore-getting-dirtier-2347004.html

Seems we are finally loosening up and letting our hair down when it comes to dirt. Which, as we all know, can be good in small doses.

Children need to be in contact with germs in order to develop an immunity to them. The crux of the question is how much dirt and when. Washing hands before meals should stay an unnegotiable habit, but a bit of splashing in puddles, playing with mud (fantastic pliable, FREE clay for creative modelling!) and soil actually provide not only fun but also much-needed probiotics that help protect against infection.

Autumn is here, let’s get out and play conkers, make crowns with colourful leaves, create fabulous natural clay sculptures, fly kites and see the lovely maple seed ‘helicopters’ spin around, observe how ‘incy wincy spider’ not only climbs but also spins her web in record time, or simply splash in puddles of fun!

by Maria Montoya

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