In this chapter, we will discuss outdoor games and explain the value they can have for 2–7-year-old children. An outdoor game means performing a wide range of movements, such as running, jumping, throwing a ball, etc. while following a certain set of predefined rules. It often includes some kind of spoken verse, nursery rhymes, and reference to folklore. These components define the game’s story and help the children become more engaged within the game. In Russia, kindergartens conduct specially organised classes with children, to help them develop communicative skills, memory, and creativity. These classes (games) can have a positive effect on the child in a whole range of areas: physical, intellectual, emotional and communicative. They provide a benefit to the children’s health, improve their cardiovascular/respiratory systems, strengthen the muscles and bones. In our research, we asked the teachers to observe the children’s progress when taking part in outdoor games. Changes were evaluated on the basis of the so-called “play activity organisation”. Play activity not only promotes the child’s comprehensive development but is also a good indicator of the child’s developmental age. In this chapter, we also provide examples of actual play exercises that involve phrases from folklore.
Part of the book: Outdoor Recreation