Tops Lymington have introduced outside sleeping areas within their ‘secret garden’ during the sunny days we have had this week.
Children at Tops Lymington have been snoozing in the shaded area of the nursery’s ‘secret garden’ at nap time.
There are many benefits to sleeping outside. Firstly, children sleep longer under the shade of a tree as the air can be cooler, in comparison to a warm building. The staff have already noticed this during recent nap times, and the children settle quickly on their mats.
It’s not just the staff that have noticed the benefits of children taking their naps outdoors, but also the parents. One parent commented “I have noticed a big difference since my child has been sleeping outside at nursery. He has slept for longer which has refreshed him for the rest of the day and improved his evening routine. This has meant we have more quality time together as he has been less irritable in the hot weather.”
Because of the cool, fresh air that surrounds the children, they breathe in more oxygen enabling them to wake up more refreshed.
The exposure to nature is a benefit in itself. Children who nap outdoors have more exposure to nature and get to look at swaying branches or the sky while they are falling asleep, which can have a calming effect on them. The children love being able to look at the trees, one child said “I can hear the leaves and the birds” whilst another commented “It’s like going on an adventure!”
Spending time outside also decreases exposure to germs in enclosed spaces.
Laura Doe, Nursery Manager said “The staff team has adapted with ease in the transition to sleeping outside. We have all noticed positive changes with the children’s behaviour and attention, allowing for greater exploration around the children’s interests during play. The feedback we have received from the parents has been amazing and they have commented on our positive reflection on practice to always ensure the best outcomes for the children.”
Such a simple change in practice has had a profound impact upon the children. It has cost us nothing to implement but has enabled the children to be more comfortable while they are sleeping while also improving their learning outcomes and explore the natural world.
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