I recently came across an article I found quite interesting.
Free-range kids: Nature-based preschools growing in the Duluth area
by: Jana Hollingsworth
The article exposes the growing popularity of outdoor preschools in Duluth, MN. The premise of these programs is that young children learn best from unstructured, outdoor play. This is not a new concept. Homeschool/unschool author John Holt and others have bemoaned the loss of unstructured play for quite some time.
One of the things mentioned in the article is the value of children playing together in an unstructured way. The most difficult thing for adults can be to stay out of the kids way. Also interesting is that these programs don’t go indoors when the weather turns cold, although they do go in to avoid lightning. Their motto, when it comes to weather, is “no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”
As you consider preschool opportunities for your children you might want to think about building in plenty of time for unstructured, outdoor play.