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The Importance of Outdoor Play

Play is a fundamental and critical piece in developing children who are passionate, imaginative, negotiators, problem-solvers, resilient and leaders. When good supervision occurs and children are able to follow their interests and ideas in their unique way, play contributes to the development of a child’s confidence and independence, collaborative and pro-social skills, and ability to navigate novel situations. While ‘play’ has always been recognized by researchers as important to social development, outdoor, unstructured play, where children move by running, skipping, hopping, tumbling and swinging, is now becoming widely recognized as a contributing factor to a child’s cognitive development. It is through movement that your child’s sensory systems become ignited and integrated, and that integration leads to the foundation of all academic learning.

A Cushman School education encompasses movement and indoor and outdoor play as an integral part of learning. To this end, not only do children attend Physical Education daily and have recess and classroom movement breaks, but we also provide free after school play time from 3:00 to 4:00 PM. It was a deliberate choice of ours to offer this time to your children at no charge. We recognize the importance of unstructured play, under the care of adults who monitor children’s safety while, at the same time, remain unobtrusive. I hope it is reassuring knowing that, while playing on Cushman’s playgrounds, your child is happy, safe and developing physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. After all, this leads your children to be healthier, happier, and well-adjusted children.

– Arvi Balseiro, Head of School

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