Saturday, 24 November 2012

Sleep and preschool Part 2i

On Friday I picked up the free newspaper, Metro, on the underground and I read about a research conducted over three years called Kidscape (ProjektKidscape.pdf) where preschools in Malmö, Stockholm, Sweden and preschools in North Carolina, USA participated.
The researchers, Boldemann, Söderström, Mårtensson, Dal, Blennow, Pagels, Raustorp, Wester, Cosco, Moore and Bieber have looked into how the design of outdoor environments effect children's well-being, including sleep.

It was noticed that in the outdoor environments that were classified as high quality - a stimulating area with plenty of opportunities for play as well as having natural elements such as bushes and trees which offer shade as well as variation that children slept better.

Cecilia Boldemann is quoted "we can conclude that children are more active, receive less harmful UV radiation, are slimmer and sleep better due to a good outdoor environment"

The researchers have gathered facts about how long the preschool children have slept, how many steps per minute they took and how much daylight they received. The weather was better in North Carolina than in Sweden, but routines in the USA tended to limit how much time was spent outdoors.

Some questions arise from their study

  • whether children are less active on rainy days or outdoors less. 
  • why staff mobility did not increase in the higher quality outdoor environments
  • why are boys allowed to move more than girls
Some tips for outdoor environments from the metro newspaper - to make yards richer
  • GRASS: Take away the asphalt, in with grass and other material
  • NATURE: take nature in and bring the wild into the yard
  • NATURAL MATERIALS: use tree stumps and natural material
  • BUSHES: replace fences with bushes and vegetation
  • MORE SHADE: Save trees and bushes which give shade and play possibilities.
OK this is just a brief mention of their research - tomorrow I will spend reading the actual article - so far all of this is based on the metro article and the little bits of information available online about the research. So this was just to whet the appetite... I will get back with the details then...

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