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Play is an integral part of children’s learning and development. Through play, children engage in active exploration, experimentation, and problem-solving, fostering cognitive growth and creativity. When play experiences are fun and spontaneous, children are more likely to retain information and develop a lifelong love of learning. House on the Hill nurtures this natural curiosity and engagement, providing children with opportunities to discover, create, and grow through play. 

Using the outdoor spaces as play areas, children have numerous opportunities to explore, discover and learn. They head outdoors for open-ended play in the playgrounds, get dirty in mud kitchens, have spontaneous storytelling sessions with loose parts play, lay a picnic mat out for snacks, or simply move the classroom outside.

At House on the Hill, they bring children to nature, and bring nature to the children. They aim for a balance of free play and Montessori-inspired activities that help little ones to care for and learn about their environment, many of which can be reproduced at home. 

Here is some Montessori-led advice for parents when playing outdoors:

  1. Just like in a Montessori classroom, children outside should be free to choose their activities and follow what interests them.
  2. Adults can help guide them and set appropriate boundaries, while still allowing freedom of movement, choice and time.
  3. Consider the limits that are set in a Montessori classroom: respect for oneself, respect for others; and respect for the environment. 
  4. When conversing with your child, use lots of open-ended questions to lead them to tell you more about their play, such as “Tell me more” or “What if”.
  5. Try to minimise restrictions for your child playing outdoors to encourage creativity and exploration – obviously keeping any safety considerations in mind.

“We bring children to nature, and bring nature to the children”

There are so many options for outdoor play in Singapore with the great weather and environment. Here are some ideas:

  •  Go on a nature walk

Collect leaves or flowers to craft into art at home. Don’t forget to find different things to count (e.g. how many birds are in the tree), and practice maths skills at the same time.

  •  Bring the garden indoors 

Use leftover food scraps to plant an indoor garden. This is a great way to expose children to new flavours and smells, and to get them interested in food production and science. We recommend herbs, garlic or onions.

  •  Create a loose parts play corner

Loose parts play involves providing children with open-ended, adaptable materials that ignite their imaginations and encourage creative exploration. Toys include wooden blocks, magnetic tiles, rainbow blocks, pebbles, assorted flat marbles, assorted sizes of LEGO bricks, and so on.

Dr. Maria Montessori said that “play is the work of the child”. There is an incredible amount of research highlighting how beneficial exposure to nature and outdoor play is for children. There are even positive environmental impacts when children learn to appreciate and care for nature. So be sure to find some time to get outdoors and have some fun in the sun! 

Join us for a school tour and discover House on the Hill today! Our family-run schools are centrally located in Mount Sophia, Balmoral Crescent, Pasir Panjang and the Hollandse Club, with programmes for children aged 18+ months to six years old.
Find out more at www.houseonthehill.com.sg/welcome