Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let's Get Physical

Early childhood is the time for a child to begin the development of an active lifestyle. In order to ensure a lifetime of good health, the development of skills and attitudes that lead to a healthy lifestyle need to be nurtured and encouraged when children are young. Children don't need personal trainers and gymnasiums...just open the doors--the preschool playground is their fitness center. Young children need daily movement opportunities designed for their developmental levels in order to enhance body awareness, spatial awareness, coordination and locomotor skills.

The Adventurous Child designs outdoor play equipment that helps develop childrens' minds and bodies. For example, The Adventurous Child Balance Beam is uniquely designed with an incline plane, a level surface and a step up and down all within one product. The easiest beam is the level one, which is 6" off the ground, and allows the children to balance and walk on a level narrow surface. The next most difficult beam is the inclined plane. The child has to be able to walk up or down the hill at the same time as they are balancing on the narrow beam. The third beam is only 2' long and there is a 6" step between that beam and the level beam. Being able to step from one narrow object to another narrow object requires a greater skill level than just walking a standard balance beam. Observe the children as they master the different levels of difficulty and watch their self-confidence grow. Also, check out The Adventurous Child Stepping Pods and many other outdoor playground activities for building young minds and bodies.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Learning Physical Education at the Drums

Playing the Large Drum Set outdoors ...


1. Dancing, twisting, marching and jumping to the music.

2. Strengthening hand muscles to grasp the drum mallet.

3. Using the large shoulder and arm muscles to
strike the drum.

4. Integrating body movement with senses--
touch, hearing, kinesthesia, and the vestibular

5. Increasing eye-hand coordination.

6. Developing body awareness and spatial awareness.

7. Learning that physical activity is fun and feels good.

8. Demonstrating sound discrimination.

9. Developing skills through repetitive practice.

10. Improving body control.

11. Increasing the physical activity level by adding singing to the beating drum and dancing feet.

12. Creating the partnership of physical activity and emotional well-being.

Physical education focuses on all activities and experiences that support and encourage gross and fine motor development as well as sensory integration.

To learn how the Large Drum Set is aligned with other Early Learning Standards visit

In addition to the Large Drum Set, The Adventurous Child designs and manufactures other musical instruments for the outdoors. To learn more take a look at the Chime Panel and the Xylophone

and to see more outdoor play and learning products visit

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Learning Geography at the Sand Table

Everyone loves sand! that is unless you are shaking it out of socks and shoes or sweeping it off the floor. Sand has to be the oldest, cheapest and most plentiful manipulative that exists. Combine the sand with water and the opportunities for outdoor play and learning multiply. By mixing sand, water and imagination all kinds of things can be created, but for now let's just focus on geography. The Early Learning Standards point out that children are learning geography when they are exposed to land and water forms. Preschool children can use sand and water to make a mountain, valley, canyon, plateau, island, lake, ocean, desert or river. Can they read the word, not yet; can they write the word, not yet; can they say the word, maybe. But they definitely can experience it--by manipulating sand and water they gain an understanding of the various land and water forms. It may look like child's play, but it is also the beginning study of the physical structures of the earth, otherwise known as geography.

One of the advantages of children standing to play with sand, rather than sitting in the standard sandbox, is there will be minimal sand to shake out of socks and shoes or sweep off the floor. Learn more about The Adventurous Child's Sand Table with Locking Lid

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Learning Science at the Water Table

Everyone knows that playing in water is fun! Splashing in sinks, bath tubs and buckets can provide endless entertainment indoors. But water play also provides an opportunity for scientific exploration and discovery. You can take the water play, mess and learning outdoors. An outdoor preschool water table is perfect for scientific observation of the physical characteristics of matter. It is an opportunity to learn first-hand about liquids and solids (without all of the indoor water mess).

The young scientist can experiment with different objects to determine which objects float and which objects sink in the water table. The children can make a game of predicting if they think an object will sink or float and then document their findings. The children can create drawings, charts or graphs to share with their fellow scientists.

When you mix water play and the outdoors, children gain a natural sense of the forces of nature by watching the effects of blowing wind on the water or increase in water temperature as the sun warms the water.

During mild weather, put ice cubes in the water table and allow the children to observe the change in physical properties from a solid to liquid. Try this on a sunny day, and then on a cloudy day, record how long it takes to melt. Is there a difference? Why? During the winter, fill the table with snow, what happens? Why?

Another experiment is to make predictions of what will happen when different substances (salt, sugar, flour, etc.) are mixed into the water. Like all good scientific exploration--predict, observe, discuss, and document.

Understanding the physical environment and communication of observations and discoveries are important elements of the science content areas of the states' Early Learning Standards. Take the Early Learning Standards outdoors with The Adventurous Child's Water Table and many other outdoor play products.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Learning Geography at the Art Easel

What is one of the favorite subject matters of young painters? The seasons and weather! Often times preschoolers are painting pictures of various weather scenes--sunshine, clouds, rain, snow, etc. Trees with colorful leaves falling in the autumn; snow falling in the winter, rain showers in the spring and flowers blooming in the summer are also popular themes. According to the states' Early Learning Standards, these drawings of seasonal changes represent an understanding of physical systems, or what we adults refer to as Geography. What makes an even better experience is if a child can be outside painting at the art easel, while experiencing the weather conditions with all of their senses--the warmth of the sun on the skin, the smell of the flowers, the sound of the birds singing, etc. these experiences all help to inspire and create a more authentic representation of seasonal changes. The Adventurous Child's Art Easel provides a wonderful opportunity for outdoor art creations.

See what else the children are learning when they use the art easel outdoors.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Learning Geometry at the Art Easel

Who knew that the simple act of painting at the Art Easel prepares a child for learning math--in addition to Algebra (See Post 4/27/09) they are learning Geometry concepts. According to the state Early Learning Standards when children draw or paint a vertical and horizontal line, a cross or circles, squares, triangles and rectangles--they are learning the foundations of Geometry. So the typical young artist's picture of a house and sun are so much more...the circle in the sun, the triangle of the roof, the square of the windows and the rectangle of the house and door and the intersecting lines of the window panes are all Geometric shapes--Preschool Geometry.

See what else children learn when they play at the Art Easel. htttp://

Monday, April 27, 2009

Learning Algebra at the Art Easel

It is so amazing how a preschooler painting at the art easel is fulfilling the states Early Learning Standards for math--specifically Algebra. When the child paints a simple flower and repeats the color scheme--yellow, red, yellow, red--they are repeating a simple AB pattern of concrete objects. Predicting what comes next in the AB pattern is Algebra....and we thought they were just making a pretty picture for mom.

They learn more than Algebra at the art easel.