WHY Outdoor Play?
At Juniper we strongly believe that when students are given the appropriate amount of time for physical play in nature, they are better prepared to learn in the classroom.
Outdoors, children are able to satisfy their sensory needs (in a rich but not overloaded environment) and receive adequate vestibular and proprioceptive input that results in decreased fidgeting and stress as well as increased attention and executive functioning skills.
90 MInutes a day.
All students receive a minimum of 90 minutes of unstructured outdoor free play every day.
Students are provided an outdoor environment that challenges them to take risks, cultivates their imagination, allows them to study nature and perform experiments, strengthens their gross and fine motor skills, and develops social emotional skills.
Teachers continually improve the outdoor environment and support and scaffold students to help master these skills.
With issues of childhood obesity, ADD & ADHD, sensory processing disorder and current research on brain development, we do not believe that “recess” takes away from academic time. On the contrary we know that significant outdoor play is essential for our student’s cognitive functioning and ultimately makes instruction time more effective and efficient.