Friday, May 31, 2013

Children's Day : Let's go outdoor ?

© Open Air Gallery

Tomorrow is International Children's Day in many countries!

The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed June 1st to be International Children's Day in 1925. 

Many countries, including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, hold Universal Children's Day events on November 20 to mark the anniversaries of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

However, other countries hold events on different dates, such as the fourth Wednesday in October (Australia) and November 14 (India). 

Universal Children's Day is not observed in the United States, although a similar observance, National Child's Day, is held on the first Sunday in June. However there is a petition to proclaim the second Sunday in June as Children's Day in the United States.

In Portugal and many other countries, June 1st is the International Children's Day. You can see the honoring children day in many places all around the world here.

Children's Day celebrates childhood and right of all children to be able to develop – naturally and happily – to their full potential.

The importance of giving children the freedom to let their imaginations run wild and their creativity flourish. Adults, need to recognise and value children’s creative instinct.

This year I would like to write a positive message on this special day! To celebrate imagination and creativity why not share your childhood memories of playing in nature!

Outdoor education and play activities are essential for children’s personal and academic growth.

Learning outside the classroom can help to build fulfilling childhood that prepare pupils for life beyond education

"Young people who acquire physical skills in a challenging situation are learning team-work, tolerance and co-operation, which raises confidence and self-esteem and can improve performance in the classroom."

And there are so many outdoor sites where we can go with students!

Some good ideas in different countries:


In Portugal there is an open air park called Portugal dos Pequenitos in Coimbra that is celebrating its 73th anniversary.

Portugal dos Pequenitos is the living image of the Portuguese way of thinking and of being all over the world and an historical and  pedagogical remark of many generations.

Beyond its  convergence of cultures and crossing of peoples, Portugal dos Pequenitos is a qualified exhibition of the sculptural and architectonic Portuguese art, whose miniatures and  details delighted the children, the young and the adults.

Portugal dos Pequeninos
Coimbra, Portugal

Portugal dos Pequenitos comemora o seu aniversário e nada melhor do que celebrar este dia em plena Festa da Criança no Parque. A festa decorre de 30 de Maio a 10 de Junho. 

Portugal dos Pequeninos
Coimbra, Portugal

Um programa diversificado, para todas as idades e gostos. Professores, pais, avós, e crianças terão a oportunidade de escolher entre várias actividades que vão desde as mais radicais como escalada, teias de cordas, Pipe Ball, jogo do labirinto, basquete, até aos jogos tradicionais ou visitas guiadas, horas do conto, pintura de murais e sessões de Yoga.  

For this special day, the park promotes outdoor activities to let children feel free and stimulate their imagination: cultural visits, reading, open air painting, yoga practice or radical activities: climbing, Pipe Ball, roap webs, basket.

Different activities in different countries:

A website including a list of fifty outdoor mini-adventures, it aims to get children active outside and spark an interest in nature. From making a mud pie to searching for creatures in a rock-pool, there a plenty of things to fire children’s imagination and creativity.

Rendez-vous aux Jardins pour célébrer le grand jardinier français André Le Nôtre: des activités, promenade composé de pupitres didactiques, une exposition végétale, des visites comentées du jardin,

Parque de Serralves (Porto, Portugal)

Convide seus alunos, vá com os seus filhos a participar Mãos no Parque. Várias actividades. 

Jardim Zoológico (Lisboa, Portugal)

O Jardim Zoológico vai estar em festa  para celebrar o Dia da Criança. Actividades que prometem estimular os mais jovens, e não só.~

Pedro e o Lobo
ilustração: Renato Moriconi

Mas seria impossível não incluir a Música neste Dia da Criança! Uma das actividades mais lúdicas na educação dos jovens! E nada melhor do que ir até à Casa da Música para ouvir Pedro e o Lobo e outras Fábulas 

And what about Music! John Adams said the arts were "critical to the success of society and the wellbeing of people". 

Casa da Música (Porto, Portugal)

Pedro e o Lobo (Prokofiev) e outras Fábulas: A puppet whose nose grows every time it lies, a boy who makes friends with a grumpy dinosaur, a boy who doesn't obey his grandfather and gets himself into a lot of trouble with a wicked wolf, a conversation between raindrops and a magic road... To add even more to their attractiveness, all of these adventures are musically illustrated and narrated to music in a concert which celebrates World Children's Day.

Some thoughts:

Music and outdoor activities in education. Children and young people must have an equal opportunity to discover music and outdoor as essential elements of a rounded education, and a vital part of life. Not only technology is important and pleasant. Technology is a support. Every element has its place in a complete education in the 21th century.

There is a genuine need to assess whether the music education opportunities we provide create the right conditions for all young people, not just to learn the great works of the past but also to experiment and progress their musical skills across a wide range of styles and genres.

Schools need to consider how to provide outdoor learning and development that create happy, confident, fulfilled and rounded children. In other words, young people who are equipped to take on the pressures of life beyond compulsory education.

"Activity-based learning that involves, for example, community volunteering or enterprise projects, promotes initiative and learning to communicate effectively. They help to develop young people's strengths, while identifying their weaknesses, in a safe environment."

John White


update 01.06.2020

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Children's Day: Let's go outdoor? by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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