Rocking Winter: How Outdoor Musical Instruments Help Children Stay Healthy, Boost Moods, Aid Learning, and Encourage Self-Expression Through the Colder Months.

Although it's getting colder in the Northern Hemisphere, it shouldn't deter us from enjoying the outdoors. Since winter is upon us, December may not seem like the ideal month to consider buying outdoor musical instruments or highlighting the significance of children playing outside. However, as the weather gets colder, planning outdoor activities for children becomes increasingly important. Despite the common misconception that cold air can cause illness, studies have shown that exposure to fresh air is actually good for our health. When people spend extended periods together indoors in poorly ventilated, heated spaces, illnesses and germs can spread easily from person to person, particularly among young children and older adults. During the winter season, it is crucial for children to experience creative outdoor play during their school day, especially since the daylight hours are shorter. Outdoor music activities during winter can be an exciting creative adventure for children.

Percussion Play creates musical instruments designed to endure outdoor elements and remain outside throughout the year. The instruments are designed to provide an environment that fosters the development, well-being, health, and learning of young children. Children find it fascinating that music can be incorporated into activities beyond the confines of the classroom. This enables them to engage in various musical play opportunities outdoors, which are not always feasible in an indoor setting.

For example:

  • Many children tend to feel more liberated, flexible, and innovative when they are outdoors.
  • The outdoor environment allows for more movement and playing larger scale instruments for gross motor movements.
  • The outdoors provides a multi-sensory learning experience that allows children to be active and noisy, which is particularly effective for boys.
  • Children’s natural exuberance when playing musical instruments, singing, and dancing is accommodated more comfortably outdoors.
  • There are various sources of inspiration for creativity, including nature, real-life experiences, and the local surroundings.
  • Many role-play scenarios work better outside, where they have greater authenticity and meaning
  • Literacy and numeracy activities that take place outside and are associated with active and imaginative play help prevent children from seeing them as indoor “work” tasks only.

Music lessons for early years education are most effective when children are encouraged to use their entire bodies while learning. Young children tend to be active and find it difficult to sit still for long periods. By providing a subject that allows them to move freely, teachers can successfully engage children in the learning process, which helps them retain information better. Physical activity can also help calm students down and prepare them for future seat work, as they have been able to release some of their energy through movement. Additionally, this movement will keep them warm while they enjoy the benefits of being outside.

By using outdoor musical instruments, children can learn about music in a fun and engaging way without even realizing that they are learning. Conducting music lessons outdoors can make music a favorite subject among children. When musical instruments are introduced into continuous provision, adults can model good practice while encouraging children to experiment and learn. After the lesson, children can revisit the instruments and consolidate their learning by repeating actions through choice. This allows skills to become embedded, and the children can enjoy playing music without the guidance of an adult.

Playing music outdoors can be a fun and rewarding activity for young children, even in winter. It can also help them develop important skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and resilience. With the right gear and proper preparation, children can enjoy the fresh air and natural surroundings while improving their musical skills.

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