Draper Preschools
The Importance of Outdoor Play at Preschool
Too many educators, politicians, and parents in Draper and throughout Utah believe outdoor play
takes time away from academic activities. As a result recess and physical education in many
schools is limited or totally eliminated. Further, programs that do include outdoor play often focus
too much on learning cognitive and academic skills, rather than encouraging needed physical
pursuits and social interactions.  This comprehensive article explores the reasons outdoor play is
crucial for effective preschool programs in Draper and other Utah communities.

From Johnson, Christie & Wardle;
Play, Development and Early Education,
published by Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA.
Copyright (c) 2005 by Pearson Education.
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Importance of Outdoor Play PDF
In the Ecologist (October, 2005) Edward Gill's article,"If You Go Down to
the Woods," makes a case for the importance of restoring outdoor play for
children.  In part, he observed...

"...children are disappearing from the outdoors at a rate that would
make them the top of any conservationist's list of endangered species
if they were any other member of the animal kingdom.  So does it
matter that kids aren't playing outside as much these days?"

You bet it does!

This article expresses why outdoor play at preschool should be a priority
for parents in Draper and throughout Utah.

Children Outdoors: Endangered Species PDF
Children in the Outdoors: The Endangered Species
Choosing A Preschool in Utah

An article from Education.com summarizing standards of the NAEYC, National Association for the
Education of Young Children to help parents identify high-quality early education programs for their
preschool age children in Salt Lake County.

Guidelines For Choosing A High-Quality Preschool PDF
The outdoors is the very best place for preschoolers to practice and master
emerging physical skills. It is in the outdoors that children can fully and freely
experience motor skills like running, leaping, and jumping.  This article by Rae
Pica in EarlyChildhood.com expresses the benefits of outdoor play in a
preschool setting.
Link To The Importance of Outdoor Play
Importance of Preschool Playgrounds
Outdoor Play at Preschool: Experts Say it's Crucial!
3-5 year olds develop more crucial life-skills and wisdom during 30 minutes
on a playground with other children that they do working on classroom

The accelerated learning industry is trying to convince parents that  toddlers and preschoolers
should sit at tables and drill on phonics or be plunked in front of TVs, computers and computer
toys in a sprint toward early reading.  The result is an epidemic of childhood obesity and
depression.  Learning, literacy and healthy lifestyle is not a sprint-race; it's a distance event.
Vigorous outdoor play needs to be a daily element of your child's early education.

Tune out the advertising.  Listen to the advice of the experts....
Elements of a Good Preschool Playground
Preschool outdoor playground equipment should have a mixture of
abstract and realistic play events, along with components and loose
parts that encourage dramatic play. Modular as on top, Preschool
playgrounds should include unique features around which children can
base their play. When all of these factors are taken into consideration,
outdoor play environments that encourage and support dramatic play
can be created. Promoting dramatic play in outdoor preschool
environments will have lasting positive effects on Draper children’s
physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.

Link to Preschool Playgrounds / Dramatic Play

Preschool Playgrounds / Dramatic Play PDF