The preschool children at RisingOaks Early Learning | Our Lady Fatima were intrigued while looking out the window during a rainy April morning. Corine pointed to the puddles on the natural playground and asked the children "do you like to jump in puddles?". Charlie and Sara smiled, while nodding their heads up and down. The preschoolers got ready for their outdoor time on the playground by dressing in their muddy buddies and rain boots.
While on the natural playground Willie found a small puddle and decided to jump in it, making a small splash. Educators Paige, Corine and Shahzad noticed that the puddles were a little too small on the playground. Corine asked the children to join her on a puddle hunt to look for a bigger puddle to explore. Just around the corner the preschoolers discovered a long muddy puddle large enough for the children to explore safely. The preschoolers were instantly engaged in exploratory play. Easton, Ronan, Willy, Sara and Austin ran through the puddle making a giant splash with their feet. Water flew up into the air "look at my splash, it's so big" Sara exclaimed. Caden and Emily picked up mud from the bottom of the puddle and moved it between their fingers. "This feels so smooth," Caden exclaimed while rubbing his fingers together. Austin said "the mud feels squishy under my boots," while walking through the puddle.
Easton enjoyed the mud so much that he was using his body to cannon ball into the puddle and make the largest splash. Exploratory play encourages children's physical development as they run, jump, and move in different ways. Exploratory play encourages children to use all their senses. How does it feel, look and sound like? Lastly, outdoor exploratory play encourages children's personal development, as there Is freedom associated with the space which cannot be replicated inside.